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Janet Rae Steele Freeman

October 9, 2019
Janet Rae Steele Freeman
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Obituary for Janet Rae Steele Freeman

Janet Rae (Steele) Freeman, age 87, lived a life full of adventures and awesome memories but on October 9, 2019, Jesus said “Welcome home, little fighter”; her battle with dementia finally over in Lacey, Washington. Her son and daughter, friends and family were & will continue to be her memory keepers until that day we also are called home.

Janet was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1931, middle sister to Lois & Gwen. She graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Nursing in 1955. In 1957, she & Lois, took a road trip across the US, working as needed when funds were low, ultimately culminating in Pasadena, CA, when the car needed service. A double date with one of the mechanics prompted a 47-year marriage to Gilbert “Bert” A. Freeman on August 23, 1958.

She had a passion for nursing but set that aside temporarily to raise her son and daughter. Her nursing career spanned four states: Michigan, California, Oregon, Washington, and included positions as Head Pediatric nurse, Nursing instructor and her (favorite) position with the Visiting Nurses Association.

Evidence of Janet’s love of travel includes trips up the Inside Passage by family boat to Alaska, volunteering at the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, boating around the San Juan Islands, Sailing around the Fuji islands, a cruise through the Panama Canal, flying with her pilot husband, Gilbert, across the Gulf of Mexico to Belize, and tent/boat camping in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Other interests included sewing, gardening, PEO, and crossword puzzles.

Janet is survived by her daughter, Deborah (Russell) of Olympia, WA and son, Charles (Jenny) of Vancouver, WA; sister Gwen of Westland, MI, two grandsons, David and Derek (Tiffany); great grandchildren, RuthAnn, Bryhun, Torin, Evangeline, Lillyanna, Alexandra, Travis, Reagan and Audrey. She is predeceased by her parents, sister Lois and husband Gilbert.

Her family often heard of the wonderfulness of and her desire to return to her childhood state, so Janet, along with Gilbert’s ashes, will be laid to rest near her father and mother, F. Earle and Eleanor Steele at the Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Michigan. Graveside services will be October 26, 2019 at 11:00 am.

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