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Janna Merlyn Feliciano

1945 - 2018
Janna Merlyn Feliciano Obituary
July 30, 1945 - January 8, 2018 The family celebrates the life of Janna M. Feliciano, who died after a long illness in Sherman Oaks, California. Janna Feliciano, née Hilda Pérez, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1945 to Cesáreo Pérez Santiago and Carmen Andujar Figueroa. The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1946 and in 1956 to New York City. An early participant in the folk music scene in New York's Greenwich Village, Janna met and eventually married José Feliciano, a young blind singer-guitarist. She became his first manager and tour promoter. Janna and José relocated to Newport Beach, California, and she was his constant companion on performance tours and producing partner in the recording studio. She collaborated with José as songwriting and producing partner on several songs, including the beloved classic Christmas tune, "Felíz Navidad," "Rain," the theme song for the television show "Chico and the Man," and co-produced "Making Our Dreams Come True," the theme for TV's "Laverne and Shirley," with Charles Fox. They were divorced in 1978, and she never remarried. For the last 17 years of her life, she resided in Sherman Oaks, California. With her then-husband José, Janna founded and ran Dijobe Studios in Orange, California, during the 1970s and she owned Wally Heider Recording Studios, Los Angeles, in the early 1980s. After their divorce, she eventually moved into a career in medical staffing/recruiting. Her passions included growing orchids, raising parrots and other birds, raising dogs, especially Doberman Pinschers and Rhodesian Ridgeback hounds, and learning everything she could about a subject until she was an expert. Cooking was a particular area of expertise, and she generously spread her knowledge and love of cooking to many people. Whenever she prepared food, she was ready to feed an army. No one ever left her table hungry! Janna had knowledge and appreciation of beautiful things: artwork, antiques, and loved to garden. Janna was an avid collector of blue and white Chinese porcelain. She always loved music, and had a special fondness for traditional Puerto Rican music, which frequently filled her home. The third of 8 children, she is survived by her adopted son, Allen Brian Carcamo, two sisters, Ana Pérez and María Pérez-Arton, and four brothers, Benjamin Pérez, Mario Pérez, Roberto Pérez and Cesáreo Pérez, Jr. Her brother, Alfredo Pérez predeceased her in 2015. In addition, she is survived by seven half-siblings, Flor Castellanos Vescovi, Elba Pérez, Doris Pérez Saylor, Rosita Pérez Stack, Herbert Pérez, James Pérez and Emiliana Pérez Bouktab, and their spouses and children. May she rest in sweet peace.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 26 to Jan. 28, 2018
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