Janet Elizabeth Laing 1945 ~ 2018

Janet Elizabeth Laing was born on January 11, 1945 in Anthony Kansas to William Theodore Laing and Helen Elizabeth (Powell) Laing.  She was the second of three children.  She attended Plainview Elementary, a rural three room school, until attending Anthony High School, where she graduated Valedictorian in 1963.

 

Janet went to Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia in 1963. There, she met her life’s partner, Carl Daniel Frantz.   They married on September 3, 1966.

 

Janet graduated at the top of her class.  After having received the "Outstanding Senior Woman" honor at KSTC, she, with Carl, went to graduate school at Ohio State University. Janet believed that she was among the first women to be accepted to that Political Science Ph.D program and remained proud of her contributions to the advancement of women in professional society.

 

Janet gave birth to her first daughter. Jennifer Elaine Frantz in 1970. The family moved to Manchester, Connecticut, in 1973, where second daughter Carolyn Joanne Frantz was soon born.   She completed her Ph.D while there in 1978, and took adjunct teaching positions at nearby colleges.

 

After the family moved to Baton Rouge, Janet was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She loved that job and worked her way up the ranks to become department chair.  She was deeply committed to her students, many of whom kept in touch with her for many years afterwards.

 

After their girls left for college, Janet and Carl moved to live in Lafayette, a city they richly enjoyed.  While there, Janet became a university and community leader and was well loved and respected by students, faculty, and community members alike.

 

Janet and Carl were blessed with five grandchildren: Charlotte Helen Parsons, Nathaniel Frantz Parsons, Magdalena Ilze Smidchens, Annika Janet Smidchens, and Sabina Vija Smidchens. Always, they were very close to all of them, and traveled frequently to see them before and after retirement.

 

Janet made it a point to learn and grow throughout her life. She was a lifelong avid reader, a traveler, and an eager and active listener. She was also always a steadfast Christian believer who served others in various ways, particularly those going through difficult times.  She was particularly proud of being involved with the Lafayette Girl Scout Council and the Lafayette Library Foundation, volunteering as an elementary teaching assistant in an inner city Denver school, and teaching English to Chinese immigrants in Seattle. She also very much loved and valued her personal friends, both old and new, her and her husband"s family members.

 

Janet passed away on May 27, 2018 after a long illness.  She will be buried at the Smoky Hill Cemetery in Lindsborg Kansas. She is survived by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and her brother Ed Laing and his wife Darlene, and her sister Nancy Jenkins.

A memorial service will be held for her on Saturday, June 16 at 10 am at Evangelical Covenant Church, 102 South Washington Rd, Lindsborg, KS 67456. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Acres of Diamonds, www.acresofdiamonds.org, PO Box 1672, Duvall, WA 98019.

 

Janet's family will meet on Sunday, June 17 from 1 to 2:30 pm in the meeting room of the First Christian Church in Anthony to allow friends and family in the area to pay their respects.  Everyone is welcome.