Janet Rose Thayer Woods passed peacefully of natural causes in the loving presence of daughter-in-law, Toni Woods and granddaughter, Kassie on April 6, 2013. Among her surviving family are siblings, Jerry Thayer and Shirley Ellcey; son, Doc Woods (Ray Jr.); grandkids, R.J. Woods, Kassie Lee and 4 great-grandchildren; husband, Ray, preceded her July 31, 2012.
The 9th of 10 children, Janet was born to James and Rosa Thayer, April 7, 1930 in Elma, Washington, and raised in Happy Hollow, a place she spoke of with deep fondness. When her father passed, the family returned to Elma where Janet attended school from 1941 to 1947. She was an excellent student and the smiling face of the Elma Theater ticket booth from age 15. Amid family hardship, Janet developed a strong work ethic, kind nature, generous spirit and a fierce loyalty that would define her lifelong character.
One evening in the fall of 1947, Janet’s brother, Jack, unexpectedly brought one of his logging truck drivers by the house. The 22-year-old visitor discovered a beautiful young lady washing her hair in the kitchen sink. Thoroughly embarrassed, Janet quickly wrapped a towel around her hair, was promptly introduced to a very handsome Ray Woods and a courtship blossomed with the man who would be her husband for nearly 65 years.
When Ray watched Janet shine as Grays Harbor Mounted Posse Rodeo Queen in 1947, that Montana ranch boy was smitten for life and the 2 were married on New Year’s Eve 1947. The couple began 1948 in Aberdeen, Wash., before relocating to Eureka, Calif. that April.
Ray’s love of trucking brought them to Humboldt County, eventually settling in Arcata where they raised their children, lived in the family home for almost 60 years and shared a deeply loving marriage that spanned nearly 65 years; devoted partners from beginning to end, remaining affectionately attentive until the moment they were parted.
Before starting their family, Janet worked at S.H. Kress in Eureka and when Ray bought his logging truck, Janet was the crackerjack bookkeeper. She was an amazing stay at home mom until the nest was empty in 1972 when Janet began work at Eureka Home Fabrics. She later managed Arcata Home Fabrics and retired in 1989 from Yardage Plus. Janet enjoyed her fabric store family; patrons and peers alike. She was well loved and well respected by both and even 23 years after retiring, customers across 2 generations recognized her around town, stopped to chat and brightened her day.
Janet loved crafting, sewing, counted cross-stitch, anything in her favorite shade of pink, making prom dresses for the girls, shirts for the boys and exquisite gifts, still treasured. Her meticulous craftsmanship won awards, including 1st place at the Humboldt County Fair many times. She was a gifted seamstress and talented artisan.
As a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority Janet made dear friends and served as chapter VP in 1956. For decades the couple enjoyed bowling, hootenannies, drive-in movie nights, Sunday drives, her Oakland A’s, entertaining and socializing. Ray and Janet cherished time together and these activities, plus their love of travel and all things family, brought them great joy.
Janet will be deeply missed by those whose lives she touched. Her caring spirit and gentle nature belied a stubbornly strong character, impish sense of humor and mischievous streak some were privileged to witness. She taught us much about love and life; selflessness, sacrifice and how to play a mean game of cribbage. She welcomed you into her home and heart, fed you to bursting and spoiled all the youngsters with a loving “Whatever you want, Sweetie Pie.”
Janet will be placed to rest with her beloved husband in Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Wash. on August 9, 2013, at 11:00; service officiated by her nephew, Patrick Woods; 1:00 gathering to follow. Family and friends are invited to both and in lieu of flowers, may donate to the following in Janet’s honor: Hospice of Humboldt, The Alzheimer’s Disease Fund or American Heart Association.
We appreciate all who contributed to this loving collective effort. And to all who wrote gently on the pages of Janet’s life, we thank you. Please sign her guestbook at www.times-standard.com, click on obits.