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Janis Hansen Klinger

1942 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Janis Hansen Klinger Obituary
October 10, 1942 - October 4, 2017 Janis Hansen Klinger was a beautiful and remarkable person. Born in Great Falls, Montana, Janis spent her earliest years in a ranch outside remote Absarokee, raised by her grandparents after her parents had divorced. The ranch had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing, so Janis learned the life of a homesteading pioneer from her adoring grandmother, who gave her the unconditional love she had craved and been denied. After splitting her childhood between time with her father, a gifted musician, who encouraged Janis to sing, and her mother, then settled in Denver, Janis attended the University of Colorado as an anthropology major. She was an excellent student, but needed a job in order to pay for her education. She worked in a nightclub, first as a waitress, and then as singer with the house band. Soon, talent scouts from Los Angeles who had heard about her extraordinary voice and style, offered her an audition with the backup group on Andy Williams TV series. She got the job, put her college career on hold, and moved to L.A. A year later, Janis was asked to audition to be companion singer with Lani Hall for the new Bossa Nova sensation, Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66. She got that job as well, capping her time with the group as lead singer on the chart-topping hit, "The Look of Love." After the group split up, Bones Howe, hit record producer for the Association and 5th Dimension, formed a new group, The Carnival, around Janis as lead singer. She also appeared for years in Ford Motor Company's TV ads as a member of the singing group, "The Going Thing," which was then Ford's slogan. At this time, she met her future husband, Richard Klinger, who was head of CBS' music publishing companies (April/Blackwood) on the West Coast. They fell into a deep love that would last 48 years. Janis began to write songs and made several recordings with groups she formed. Later, she wrote the songs and the books for a successful multi-media series for children, The Bible Adventure Club. But, more than her voice, a combination of innocence and sensuality, and her other writing skills, Janis will mostly be remembered for her qualities as a human being, She was a loyal, caring, and generous friend to many. She was a loving and understanding mother, always gently encouraging her sons to fulfill their potential. She was the best wife a man could ever hope for -- friend, partner, lover, and soulmate. Fearful of the looming threats from climate change, Janis had great passion for preserving this fragile planet of ours. She made environmental ethics part of the way she lived her life. Waste was not a concept that she accepted, and she turned the backyard into a slice of Eden, with organic fruits, vegetables and magnificent flowers. Janis also loved cats, made her husband a cat-person, and gave protection to many stray and abandoned kitties. She had dynamic energy that she applied to everything she did. She was a treasured gift to all who knew her. After a very long struggle with myelofibrosis and acute myeloid leukemia, Janis finally succumbed at her Sherman Oaks home, when all medical options were exhausted. She had fought with fortitude and grace. She had an indomitable spirit and elan. She leaves behind her husband, Richard, sons Brendan and Peter, daughters-in-law Melissa and Becky, and grandchildren Wyatt, Claire, and Katie. A private celebration of Janis, honoring her spirit and fearlessness, her intelligence, her many talents, and most beautiful voice will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please make a contribution in Janis' name to the Natural Resources Defense Council office in Santa Monica. Thank you. FINAL Scrabble score: Janis 1,756,239 / Richard 1,756,219
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, 2017
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