Janis Distefano Haehle, age 72 passed away on Thursday, February 20, 2020, of natural causes. Born on May 10, 1947 to James Woodrow and Evelyn Hamilton Distefano, she was second of 6 daughters.
Janis attended school in Provo and Orem, Utah, graduating with Orem High Class of 1965. Over her years in Elementary school Janis had a favorite Elementary school teacher Mrs. Snow, whose loving care brightened her love of self and sparked her immense love for historical novels and movies.
In her adult life, Salt Lake became home. In 1999, Janis retired from downtown ZCMI where she was in charge of ordering and the displays in the China department. Janis could brag that she never missed a day of work during her entire tenure.
Undoubtedly, Janis had a special place in her heart for the disabled. While working at a nursing facility, she met three women who became “her girls”. Because of their disabilities, she acted as their advocate for many years. One of “her girls” Ethel, was severely disabled physically but that didn't stop Janis from helping her fulfill her aspiration of running the Colorado River in a raft. Janis cared for Ethel’s every need and the trip was a huge success.
Janis married the love of her life, Curt S. Haehle on November 2, 1996, they were later sealed in the LDS Temple. Janis and Curt were inseparable companions and doted on each other. Although their time together lasted only six and a half years before Curt passed away, those years were what dreams are made of.
Letting her artistic talents shine, Janis kept her crochet hook busy making afghans for family and friends. In fact, her afghans became the coveted prizes at the family reunions. But her beautiful cross stitch work is where she has left her mark as an artist. She created numerous table cloths which exemplified her talent for selecting harmonious colors. Every sister is a proud owner of a cross-stitched picture made with hours of love. One of her more intricate cross stitch pieces won a blue ribbon at the Utah State Fair…Janis kept this one for herself to enjoy.
FRIENDS - from her ward thank you, especially Ranatta and Janalee
In December of 2018, Janis moved to Legacy Village in Provo. Our family would like to thank the Legacy staff for their kind and watchful care. A special thank you to her physical therapist and friend, Spencer Blackwell.
Janis is survived by four sisters Kathryn Griffiths of Orem, Utah; Carma Distefano, (Mike Roylance), American Fork, Utah; Sheila Atwood, (Dew Atwood), Wallsburg, Utah and Nicole Stoddard, (Curtis Stoddard), Ashton, Idaho. She was preceded in death by her husband - Curt, parents, sister - Gina Distefano (Val Preese), Preston, Idaho. She was “Momma J” to Alisa Riley, Monument, Colorado.
A viewing and service will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Sundberg Olpin Mortuary located at 495 So. State in Orem. The viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:45 and the service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Interment service will be held at the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 So. Highland Dr. Salt Lake City at 3:00 p.m.
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