Janet A. (Janna) EXCELL

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EXCELL, Janet (Janna) A. Janna's beautiful soul transitioned from this world to the next on November 27, 2017, peacefully and with dignity surrounded by family and friends in Tucson, AZ. Janna was born June 4, 1945 in Vernon, TX to Robert and Blandina Rummel. She spent her childhood on a farm in Lockett, TX. Over the years, Janna told countless stories of gathering eggs, making butter, tending the garden, digging potatoes, shucking corn, and caring for livestock. As a teenager, every Saturday she assisted her mother, ensuring that Zion Lutheran Church was clean and presentable for Sunday worship. On Sundays, Janna directed the music, and played the organ and piano. Janna graduated from Lockett High School where she excelled in her studies. Janna was an active leader and loved playing competitive basketball. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Janna's journey led her to Lincoln, Nebraska where she pursued a career as an elementary school teacher, and eventually as a teacher mentor. It was this job that led to Janna's hiring to the University of Arizona faculty. At UA, she was involved in teaching the course Psychology of Death and Loss. In 1979, Janna was instrumental in helping establish one of the first three hospices in the United States, Hill Haven, in Tucson. From here, Janna focused her professional career on death, crisis, bereavement and spiritual communications. After moving on from Hill Haven, she worked at Evergreen Mortuary for 20 years. Janna maintained a private practice in bereavement counseling until 2011, but led grief groups every Tuesday until August 2017. In 1982, Janna was a catalyst in Tucson, forming the first support group for Homicide Survivors. In 1984, she founded and facilitated the local Tucson Near-Death Experience group, which ran for 30 years. Janna went on to author two books, "A Time to Grieve, A Time to Dance" and "Soul Light: Connection between Worlds." It was Janna's dream to live in the warmth and beauty of the Sonoran desert. Janna adored driving around Tucson and Gates Pass in her iconic green BMW Z3 convertible. Janna is preceded in death by her parents Robert and Blandina Rummel, her oldest brother, Robert Lee Rummel (Vickie),  and their son, Russell. Janna is survived by her sister, Carolyn Skov (Norval); her brother, Gene Rummel (Evelyn); and her beloved niece, Karen Rummel (Beth Booher). Additionally, her extended Tucson family, Gloria Ramirez (Jeffrey Mead), and their son, Eli (Anna), whose gracious care and support is truly appreciated. Janna is also survived by many other nephews and nieces, associates, and friends. Janna graciously acknowledges her mentors: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D, as well as Robert L. Wrenn, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of  Psychology at the University of Arizona. Janna's family thanks the staff at Soulistic Hospice for their compassion and care. Janna carried exceptional charisma, her enthusiastic bright smile and warm character touched all those who knew her in life. There will never be another equal to Janna Excell. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Sunrise Chapel, 8421 E. Wrightstown Rd, Tucson, AZ 85715. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Mead Foster Fund for Cats care of Benarda Veterinary Hospital. 2555 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716. In honor of Janna's two beloved surviving cats, LJ and Samantha. Live, laugh, and love for time is fleeting and it goes by quickly. Arrangements by ANGEL VALLEY FUNERAL HOME.

Funeral Home
Angel Valley Funeral Home & Old Pueblo Crematory
2545 N. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-6341
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Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 6, 2017
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