She's a Rainbow: Celebrating the Colorful Life
of Janet Ellen Sage
For the past week, Epic Memorials has been working closely and diligently with the son of our honoree Janet Ellen Sage, to create a colorful and meaningful tribute to a lovely woman who lived a full and colorful life.
Family and guests will gather both in person and remotely to worship and celebrate Janet's beautiful soul on Thursday, September 2, 2021, which would have been her 89th birthday and 67th wedding anniversary. The celebration of life will take place in the courtyard gardens at Janet and her husband John's home, Merrill Gardens at the University in Seattle WA at 4:00pm PDT.
Janet's son John has partnered with GatheringUs to create an opportunity for long distance friends and loved ones to join the celebration virtually. Remote guests may join the gathering by desktop computer, mobile device or dialing in by phone. Additional information, a chance to share memories, and the link to this event can be found on the GatheringUs memorial page for Janet. For technical assistance, please call or text the GatheringUs Support Hotline at 240-608-6037.
Janet Ellen Sage passed away peacefully on Monday, August 23, surrounded by her entire family, including husband John, son John Jr., his wife Shelly, and grandsons Jackson (26), Nick (23) and Matthew (17). Just a few days shy of her 89th birthday and her 67th wedding anniversary, Janet lived an extraordinary and wonderful life.
A Celebration of Life ceremony for Janet will take place on her actual birthday, this Thursday (September 2) from 4-5PM PST. Friends and family are all invited to join virtually while Merrill Gardens residents can join in the courtyard.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in the midst of the Depression, Janet grew up as an only child with very loving parents who stressed the importance of community service and ‘loving thy neighbor.’ She attended William Woods College, a small liberal arts college for women before transferring to the University of Missouri where she studied languages and majored in Spanish, with minors in both French and English.
To escape the summer heat, Janet and her parents spent summers by the cool waters of Lake Ottertail in Minnesota. At 17, she met her future husband John, beginning a courtship and love affair that would last more than 70 years. She and John married in 1954 and moved to California where they put down roots and started their family. Son John Jr. was born in 1961 and son Jeff was born a few years later in 1964.
Formative years and experiences followed, including social activism and progressive politics in Berkeley and the Bay Area through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Janet earned her teaching degree and taught junior high and special needs students while John worked as a landscape architect for the National Park Service. She raised her family in Berkeley and was active in the First Congregational Church of Berkeley for many years. Her personal faith remained resolute and deep, despite numerous personal setbacks and the devastating loss of son Jeff to AIDS in 1993. Janet’s optimism, hopefulness, kindness, and generosity stand out among her many positive qualities.
In more recent years, Janet devoted her time and energies to her family, especially to son John and his family – wife Shelly, and all three grandsons. Her fierce devotion to family, generosity of spirit and love for others remain as hallmarks of her life. Janet’s belief that that we must all ‘live each day to the fullest and be respectful to everyone’ and her admonition that we ‘enjoy the journey and have fun’ while also ‘loving family, loving country and loving life…’ ring especially true today as we grieve her passing while celebrating her life.
Please join us for a celebration of Janet’s life on September 2 from 4PM – 5PM PST and kindly share any memories, reflections or stories in the memorial page on this site.