Janice Hern Anderson, 100

          After a lifetime of making beautiful music as an educator, Janice Hern Anderson, 100,  passed away at Silver Oaks Health Campus, Columbus, IN,  on January 15, 2021.

            Janice was born in Indianapolis on December 13, 1920, the only child of Raymond Goudie and Lennie Dixon Hern. She graduated from Jackson Township High School of Decatur County in 1939 and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music in 1943 from Hanover College, Indiana, where she accompanied the Hanover choirs and made lifelong friends as a member of Phi Mu sorority.   She also attended Indiana University and Ball State University for additional education.

            Jan taught music education for 37 years in the schools of Lynn, IN (Randolph County), Azalia, Burnsville, Grammer, and Elizabethtown (Bartholomew County), Sandcreek and Jackson Township (Decatur County), and the last 22 years of her career in the Greensburg Community Schools, retiring in 1986.   During many of these years she was also engaged in teaching private piano and marimba lessons and enjoyed directing her three daughters in ten musicals alongside good friend, Jean Taylor Childress, at Greensburg High School. In the public schools she formed special ensembles (The Seven Teens, Coney Island Girls, Do Re Mi’s) that often gave programs for civic clubs in the area. It was especially fun for the whole family when she held extra rehearsals in the living room of their home.

            She married Willard M. Anderson on October 29, 1944 in the Sardinia Baptist Church, while he was in the service. She was a member and former choir director at the church. During the WWII years, she directed the Sardinia Baptist Church All Women’s Choir.  They not only performed concerts in their home church but also in other churches in the area.  She began playing piano for Sunday school as a teenager and often played the organ for regular church services.  Early in their marriage, Jan and Willard joined many good friends to co-found Westport Community Players, directed by good friend and eventual Broadway stage director, Tom Porter. Jan brought the first tap dance class to Westport, which resided over Maddux’s drug store for fifty cents a lesson.  During Janice’s teaching career, she touched thousands of students’ lives, instilling in them the love of music and the fun of learning. Jan often said that she especially appreciated all of the school custodians who tirelessly moved musical instruments from room to room without complaint. 

Jan was a member of the Order of Eastern Star #183, of North Vernon, formerly of Alert, Indiana; Lone Tree Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution; Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society; Psi Iota Xi Sorority; Retired Teachers and National Music Educators. She spent many years with special girlfriends as part of a literary club in the Westport/Sardinia community. Like her mother, she enjoyed doing crossword puzzles.  Her love for dogs (Inky, Blackie, Sandy, Tori, Skippy, and Roadie) was only exceeded by her love for her family.

            She is survived by three daughters: Nita (Alexander) Jason, Pinole, CA;  Christie Shaff, Columbus, IN and Madelyn (Dwight) Ferris, Cassopolis, MI; six grandchildren: Mandy Shaff, Indianapolis, IN;  Aaron (Amy) Shaff, Indianapolis, IN; Adam Shaff (friend, Sarah Powell), Sunnyside, NY; Juliana (Loren) Byrne, Pinole, CA; Lane (Michael) DeMeulenaere, Granger, IN, and Keegan Ferris of Grand Rapids, MI; six great-grandchildren, Oliver Anderson Shaff, Nora Jane Shaff, Georgia Honey Byrne, Holly Lauren Byrne, McKenna Rose DeMeulenaere, Abigail Ryanne DeMeulenaere,  two cousins, Opal Barton, Tempe, AZ and Shirley White, Rushiville, IN and many treasured nieces, nephews, and cousins.  As  active  as  Janice  was  in  her  community, she and Willard were devoted  to  their  daughters, providing music, dance, and instrumental training and masters degrees  to  all  three.  She was an active “Mamma” to her six grandchildren; she and Pappa provided hours of musical fun, playing the piano and singing together as a family. She even played for the residents at Silver Oaks who enjoyed it immensely.

On March 5, 2005, she was preceded in death by her husband, Willard, whom she has missed every day he has been gone.  She has also greatly missed lifelong friends and cousins who passed before her including Annabelle Evans, Edna Houze, Marguerite Taylor, Ruth Obergfell,  Imogene “Pave” Workman and many others. Mother was quite a lady. She worked full time outside the home long before it became commonplace. Through her many sacrifices, she made it possible for her daughters to receive the applause when, all along, it was she who deserved it. 

Services are being handled by Bass Gasper Funeral Home.  Private burial services will be held for immediate family, but a Celebration of Life will be held at a later time.  The family wishes to thank all friends and family who made it a priority to visit and keep in contact with Jan in recent years.  We also thank the staff at Silver Oaks for their care and concern over nearly a decade in residence and Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.

            In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sardinia Baptist Church, 402 East Bennett Street, Westport, Indiana, 47283,  Bear Creek Baptist Church, 3945 W County Road 1000 N, Westport, Indiana, 47283 or Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 East 17th Street, Columbus, IN 47201.

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