Janice Kay Sayler, 75, of Battle Ground, Washington, went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, June 5, 2022, after a month-long battle with an acute lung disease at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Janice was born on Nov. 17, 1946 in Rolla, North Dakota to Loyd and Anne Johnson. She grew up in Wabasha, Minnesota before moving to Moscow, Idaho, where she graduated from high school in 1964. She went on to study elementary education and music at the University of Idaho, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Janice was an active member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority throughout college and served as president for one year while there. She also participated in several operas and musicals, her most memorable being “Oklahoma.”
After graduation, Janice started her teaching career in Vancouver, Washington, as a fourth grade teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary School. She also taught at Salmon Creek, Peter S. Ogden, Leiser and Minnehaha elementary schools throughout her career. Janice received her master’s degree in learning disabilities from the University of Idaho in 1974. She spent 14 years working in special education and then as a fourth, fifth, and combo classroom teacher. She taught for 30 years before retiring in 1999. Janice received the school district’s staff achievement award for intermediate-grade teachers in 1997.
Janice met the love of her life, Ken, while they were both attending the University of Idaho. They were married Jan. 27, 1968. Janice and Ken had two children, Angie of Post Falls, Idaho, married to Jace Rutherford, and Greg Sayler of Vancouver, Washington, married to Andrea.
Family was paramount to Janice and she spent much time traveling to watch the various events of each of her grandchildren or to play games or put puzzles together with them or just to spend time together. Janice and Ken also loved to travel after retirement and spent many vacations in Hawaii, cruising to Alaska, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, the Rhine and Danube rivers, visiting the British Isles and traveling around the USA in their RV.
Janice was passionate about her church, Bethel Lutheran, in Brush Prairie, Washington, where she was a member for over 43 years. She served as council president, bell choir leader and member, choir leader and member, Vacation Bible School teacher, and on numerous committees and volunteer positions over the years. Janice was currently serving as the president of the Women of the ELCA Southwest Washington Synod, encompassing 88 churches, helping women throughout the area grow closer in their relationship with the Lord. Janice was a servant leader, always willing to help others and was incredibly generous with her time and talents. She went on several Habitat for Humanity builds, was involved with the Winter Housing Overflow program providing overnight housing for the homeless, and doing the same for the Family Promise program. Janice also was active in a number of bridge groups and a pinochle group that has been playing since the early 1970s. The void Janice leaves is immeasurable and is felt by all of her family, friends and everyone whose life she touched.
Janice is survived by her husband Ken; her daughter Angie; son-in-law Jace; son Greg; daughter-in-law Andrea; seven grandchildren Jackson Sayler, of Pullman, Washington, Jennesee and Jaelyn Sayler of Vancouver, Washington, and Jacob, Cole, Tyson and Austin Rutherford of Post Falls, Idaho; her sister and brother-in-law Peggy and Clyde Waterman of Idaho; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Pat and Shirley Ackerman, of Aumsville, Oregon, and John and Linda McClure, of Oakland, California; and sister-in-law Donna Ashley of Happy Valley, Oregon; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Janice’s memorial service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie, Washington, on July 23, 2022 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Janice’s name to the Bethel Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 175, Brush Prairie, Washington, 98606.