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Janet Van Kirk


1938 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
1938 - 2015 Janet (Labory) Van Kirk was born on July 28, 1938 to Marvin and Barbara Labory and passed away peacefully at home on September 26, 2015. A fifth-generation Californian, Janet was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Gardena High School in 1956. She attended Occidental College and graduated from California State University Long Beach with a degree in Elementary Education. Janet married her great love Dick Van Kirk in July of 1959; they became engaged after only 8 weeks of dating and their union brought years of joy to both of them and to their family. Janet and Dick lived most of their married life in Arcadia, where they raised their family and developed many cherished relationships in the community. In addition to raising her family, Janet worked as a wallpaper contractor and contributed countless hours of service to the community. She created and served thousands of healthy and delicious meals to the clients of Union Station, clothed hundreds of low-income children through the Assistance League's Operation School Bell, educated many visitors of the Gamble House through her work there as a docent, and took on numerous other roles supporting her family's schools and activities. Janet was also a supporter of Special Olympics, connecting with athletes and their families and bringing her positive spirit to many Special Olympics events. In addition to all of this, Janet threw legendary garage sales - and she always let her family store stuff in the garage in preparation for the next big sale. Janet was witty and smart, modest and thoughtful, a keen observer of people, and partial to her colorful and sporty motor vehicles. She is survived by her husband Dick; her children Rick (Betty), Karen (Andy Anagnos), and Doug (Sharon) Van Kirk; and her grandchildren Allison, Jackson, Greg, Tim, Abby, and Nick. She taught us all well and we feel her love every day. Services are pending. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Special Olympics Southern California in Janet's memory (www.sosc.org, 1600 Forbes Way, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90810).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, 2015
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