Janyce Maxfield Harrison, age 88, passed away May 2, 2020, at home in Provo, Utah, of natural causes incident to age and years of health difficulties.
Janyce was born to Richard Elton and Edith Roberts Maxfield on May 18, 1931, in Salt Lake City. She was one of seven children; her twin sister Joyce survives her. She grew up in Provo and attended Springville and Provo City schools, graduating from Provo High School. She then attended Brigham Young University, majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Art, graduating in 1953. After graduating she taught fourth grade in Tooele.
Janyce married Bertrand Kent Harrison June 25, 1954, in the Salt Lake Temple. They first lived in Spanish Fork where Janyce taught third grade while Kent finished his bachelors degree at BYU. Afterward they moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where Kent earned his masters and Ph.D. degrees. After living in Los Alamos, New Mexico, they returned to Provo in 1964 where Kent taught physics at BYU. She lived the rest of her life in Provo, except for two years in Altadena, California, when Kent was on leave.
Janyce and Kent were blessed with four children, who survive them: Alan Kent (Dale); Neil Bruce (Lisa); Paul Eugene (Pat); Mary Ellen Bramwell (Allen). They have had twelve grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren, all of whom survive her. She is survived by her husband.
Janyce was a teacher all her life. In addition to teaching in a regular classroom, she taught her own children and tutored nearly 80 children in reading and math, including special needs children, and developed games to help their learning. She made a big difference in their lives; some of them she actually saved. Children loved her, as she loved them. She served as Young Women’s president, as a teacher in Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women, and held many other callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was an excellent ward music chair and was chair of ward activities; Kent called her “Party Boss.” When the family moved to Provo, the ward was completing a chapel; to help pay for it, arrangements had been made to collect blood donations needed by Utah Valley Hospital and to use the proceeds for the building. Janyce was asked to call ward members for donations. About the only way she could get some people to donate was to call herself the “Friendly Vampire.” She was active in Scouting for decades, serving many times as den leader and in several positions at the district and council level. She especially loved boys. She earned the Provo Peak Award and the Silver Beaver.
Janyce was an excellent artist. Several of her paintings adorn her home. In recent years she drew a series of bird and animal pictures; many family and friends have prints of them in their homes. She was an excellent seamstress, having made many clothes for her children, and she was a fine cook. She participated in community service in several activities. She was a bubbly, spunky lady, always willing to do new things. She traveled to nineteen countries on four continents with her husband; she met and was friends with people of many nations.
Janyce was a wonderful wife and mother and a truly good and unselfish person. She loved everyone around her and they loved her. She was especially sensitive to other people’s needs; she would listen, observe, and then provide counsel for them. She loved the Lord and the gospel of Jesus Christ and had a powerful faith; sometimes she seemed to have a direct connection to Heaven. She entitled her autobiographical reminiscences, “A Prayer-Guided Life.” She bore her testimony to everyone: family, friends, visitors, in church, and to caregivers.
Services will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary in Orem, Utah, for close family. A Facebook link will be available for those wishing to view the services online. The family members wish to express thanks to many friends who have visited her and to the excellent staff at various care centers, including Orchard Park Skilled Nursing, Canyon Cove Assisted Living, Utah Valley Hospital, and Utah Valley Specialty Hospital, who cared for her in recent years. They also express thanks to the personnel at HealthWatch Home Health and BRIO Hospice, who came to the home regularly to provide care for her in various ways.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at SundbergOlpinMortuary.com