March 17, 1952 - September 20, 2020
“Hidy-ho!” If you knew Jan Larson Butcheri, you likely can hear this greeting ringing in your ears even now. Throughout her life, Jan was perpetually ebullient, frequently changing the energy in any room with a simple smile and wave. As a founding member of the “Friends of the Friendless Club” in her hometown of Mount Jewett, PA, even as a child, Jan naturally found ways to form connections with everyone she met and ensured no one felt excluded, alone, or without love. This thread of kinships, kindness, and empathy became the lovely tapestry of her life, its reach immeasurable. Jan attended Grove City College, where she met the love of her life, Terry. The two wed in August of 1973. They began their newlywed years travelling overseas as Peace Corps volunteers and serving as teachers in the Mariana Islands. After several years of dedication as educators abroad, Jan, Terry, and their first daughter – their “pearl of the Pacific,” Beth Ann, settled in North Tonawanda, NY. Jan went on to serve as an English teacher at Lockport High School, where she dutifully shared her zeal for reading and writing performing a job she loved. Her classroom, room 206, became a warm and welcoming sanctuary for her students and colleagues alike. During that time, she also gave birth to her second daughter, Amy Lynn, on what Jan called “the sweetest and most peaceful Christmas Eve” she had ever experienced. While Jan’s allegiance to her family was always forefront, her devotion to her church family was equally profound. A member of the First United Methodist Church of North Tonawanda, Jan’s involvement was extensive and included singing with the Chancel Choir and ringing handbells with the “Jubalation” Ringers. To see Jan express herself musically was a gift, her joy pouring forth with every note, in perfect harmony with her infectious smile. For over two decades, Jan hosted a Tuesday night prayer group at the dining room table of her home. Getting ready for “the prayer ladies” was a task frequently handed down to her daughters, who would set the table and put out the coffee cups each week. Most summers, Jan would unfailingly teach a new clutch of children “Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain” during Vacation Bible School. And on Saturdays throughout the year, she could be found in the church kitchen calculating how to make meatloaf for 100 guests as a host of the Community Corner Café. Her Christianity was exemplary. She loved unconditionally, she forgave immediately, and she welcomed all. Jan appreciated books. She loved to read, both to herself and to others. Her vocabulary was robust, and favorite words included “serendipitous”, “kerfuffle”, “curmudgeon”, “serpentine”, and “autumnal.” She enjoyed the lost art of letter writing, frequently toting a bag of stationary, stamps, stickers, and confetti even on family vacations. It was not uncommon to see Jan lying on the beach at Jekyll Island each year, delightfully scrawling notes to friends at home and away, filling them in on the ordinary details of sunsets, weather, and nightly meals. Her Christmas card list was lengthy, but Jan enjoyed the seasonal task of writing an individualized note on each card. She decorated her house for every holiday and every season, much to the delight of her daughters. She was an expert hostess, opening her home for any occasion – birthdays, holidays, celebratory milestones, and gatherings of refuge. Jan adored having her family and friends congregated around the table - especially around the television during Bills games. Sadly, Jan was diagnosed with early-onset Dementia over a decade ago. Her family has said a slow farewell to all the glimmering qualities and traditions that made Jan the person she was. She peacefully passed away on September 20, 2020. Jan was predeceased by her parents, Elmer “Red” Larson and Dorothy “Betty” Larson. She is survived by her husband, Terry, her daughters Beth Ann (Matthew) Crvelin and Amy, her granddaughters Cameron and Kerrington, and her siblings Lynn Larson Swanson, Dawn Larson Weborg, and Jody Larson. In lieu of flowers, please remember Jan with a memorial to the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Hidy-ho!” If you knew Jan Larson Butcheri, you likely can hear this greeting ringing in your ears even now. Throughout her life, Jan was perpetually ebullient, frequently changing the energy in any room with a simple smile and... View Obituary & Service Information
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