Janet Rhea Olin

God called home one of his sweet angels, Janet Olin, 69, of Olathe, KS on September 1 after a brief, non-covid related illness. “Jan” as she was known to those who knew and loved her, came into this world on November 8th, 1951, in Wilkinsburg, PA to proud parents Doyle and Cora Moye. Her family later moved to Belleville, Illinois where Jan graduated from Belleville Township West High School. She went on to attend the University of Kansas, graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education , majoring in German and English, with distinction. Upon graduation from KU, she began an illustrious teaching career that spanned 34 years, beginning in 1973 in the Eudora, KS school district where she taught German, English and study skills. Two years later she began teaching in the Lawrence School District, first at South Junior High, then finishing her career in 2006 after many years at Central Junior High. At South she taught German, Study Skills and Communication. At Central she taught German, English, Study Skills and Young Adult Literature. Her German students at both South and Central affectionately called her “Frau Olin” as she inspired them to achieve and believe they could make a difference in this world. During her teaching career she co-authored district curriculum guidelines for the German program, chaired textbook selection committees, taught German for Lawrence Adult Education and hosted German-speaking guests in Lawrence and at KU. Additionally, she planned and personally coordinated 20 overseas trips to Europe with students and others.

Jan was preceded in death by her parents, Doyle and Cora Moye. She leaves behind her life partner, Paul Stewart, along with her sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Kourosh Kermani of Burghaslach, Germany. She leaves behind her beloved niece Shiva Eisele-Kermani and husband, David, of Streitheim, Germany. Additionally, she leaves behind cousins James Moye, his wife and children, James Henderson and Laura Petry and their spouses and children, along with her their mother Marion. She leaves behind a cousin Corinne Grizzard of St. Charles, MO. Jan also leaves behind her beloved God-brother Sasan Kermani and his wife and their children in Florida, along with many other relatives and friends in Germany, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, California, and Kansas.

Jan has been cremated and her ashes prepared for burial in an urn at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence.

A “Celebration of Life” for Janet Olin will be Saturday September 18th at 11am at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. The family strongly urges everyone to stay safe and view the service live as it streams at www.warrenmcelwain.com by clicking on her obituary just before the service begins at 11.

For those who choose to attend the service in person, the family requests all visitors wear a mask and practice social distancing wherever possible. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to a local animal shelter in Janet Olin’s name.

14 Condolences

  1. Barbara Solberg on September 7, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Absolutely lovely photo of Jan with beloved Meg. Wonderful obituary as well. A life well-lived but too short. We will always remember Jan this way. Our love to you, Paul, and all her family.

  2. Joyce Tallman on September 7, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Jan was a good friend who encouraged me to enjoy a good glass of wine, Jazz Concerts and art shows. She loved her Jayhawks, Cardinals and Royals. Rest in Peace Jan

  3. Lorraine Lepine on September 7, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    I met Jan ten years ago as she was going through health issues. She learned T’ai Chi Chih with me . She told me that this practice was the only thing that gave her peace and calm. She practiced regularly.
    The day before she passed she was with us on Zoom practicing T’ai Chi Chih. She found her way Home. ❤️

  4. Dennis Rose on September 8, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Although it’s been far too long since I last visited, I’ll always remember Jan as a wonderful person full of life and a terrific partner for Paul. I’m so sorry for your loss, Paul. I know the pain and emptiness you must feel so please reach out to me if you ever need to talk, laugh, cry, reminiscence, anything. You have a lot of friends who feel the same way. You’re in my prayers, my friend.

  5. Jodine Louise Schweiger on September 9, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Jan was a wonderful person. I enjoyed working with her while we worked together in Eudora. We shared an apartment in Lawrence and had a wonderful time together. Over the years after she moved to Olathe, we would run into each other from time to time and was always good to see her.

  6. Anita Carlson on September 9, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Jan was a wonderful colleague and loved her work with kids! Her smile said it all. My condolences to her family. She will be dearly missed.

  7. Clenece Hills on September 10, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Feisty. Smart. Determined. Generous. Considerate. Bright. Funny. Relentless. Teacher. Friend. To Paul and all of Jan’s family, I know what you will be missing in the days and years to come without Jan. I send you my respect and appreciation for her life.

  8. Beth Brady Rands on September 10, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Mrs. Olin was one of my favorite and probably most impactful teachers. I took her German classes 7-9 th grade at South Jr High, 1981-1984, I think. Her classes were fun and memorable, and laid an excellent foundation to foreign language. Building on what I started with “Frau” Olin, I went on to get a degree in German and attended grad school in Zurich. I think I may still have the menu I invented in prep for the field trip to the German restaurant in KC. What a brave woman to do that! I remember her being full of energy and seeming to genuinely enjoy being our teacher. Great memories of her classes. I’m so glad to have been her student.

  9. Dennis and Linda Trotter on September 11, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Paul, I am so sorry for your loss. Jan was a good friend to many and a great teacher, touching the lives of so many students. Even though we haven’t seen you all for awhile have thought of you all often. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jan’s family.

  10. Lisa Osborne on September 12, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Thinking of you, Paul and praying. Love for you and her family. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Pat Feldt on September 14, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Remembering Janet and our childhood neighbor days in Belleville since i was 9 years old. She was also classmate through the years too. Janet lived in a big house across the street with a large lot on the side of there house and as kids all the neighbor kids would love to play sport games every evening. So sorry for the loss of Janet! Prayers.

  12. Linda on September 15, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Jan and I taught together for 30 years at South and Central. She was feisty, knew her mind, and so full of energy. I am so sad that her outgoing spirit has left us. However, I know she will be welcomed as enters her new state of being.

  13. MarciaMcPhail on September 19, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    I met Jan when we moved to Lawrence in 1990. She was already working at South Junior High: I was the new kid on the block. Jan was energetic, dedicated, fearless, willing to give and willing to share, smart, and well spoken. The list goes on and on. I often wished I could sit in on one of her German classes as she made German learning so fun for her students.
    I seldom saw Jan after she moved to Olathe, yet I always knew I’d see her name on the tv screen once Kelley Hunt began online Saturday night gigs during COVID times. We always said one of these Saturday’s we’d meet for a quick catch-up but time marched on and we didn’t get it done.
    May Paul and all of Jan’s family and many friends be comforted just knowing how much others truly care. Blessings to all.

  14. Jamie Pottberg on September 21, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Dear Paul,
    What a lovely celebration of life for Jan! You really poured your heart into every word that was said and every picture that was shown. I know she was the love of your life! Her sweet and caring spirit will always be remembered.
    Our hearts go out to you at this time.
    With love and hugs,
    Bob and Jamie (Stewart) Pottberg

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