Jan Jansen Apr. 15, 1935 – Sept. 4, 2021

“In Memoriam”

Jann Jansen 

Resident of Pleasant Hill

Apr. 15, 1935 – Sept. 4, 2021

In the early morning of September 4th, 2021, Professor Emeritus of Diablo Valley College, Jann Jansen, passed away peacefully, and was called to Heaven to join her daughter who had passed away long ago. As the matriarch of her family, she leaves behind seven children, twelve grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren. Early in life, Jann explored several professions like acting, modeling, and becoming a concert pianist. However, her greatest passion was teaching. Jann Jansen had taught scores of students in primary and secondary school, but had also been a full-time professor of English at Diablo Valley College since the fall of 1985, and was tenured until 2005 when she retired shortly thereafter. She returned as an adjunct professor in 2006 and worked until 2016 after teaching for nearly 50 years of her life. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and two Masters Degrees in literature and psychology. She not only published many newspaper articles, but she also wrote five books, including a trilogy of memoirs. Jann was also a piano instructor, once operated a small dog shelter, and was a lover of pets to many of her other animals including cats, birds, fish, frogs, and turtles.

Jann’s long and storied life was riddled with many heartbreaking moments and painful challenges. However, she’d always persevere and overcome these many obstacles and hardships throughout her life… much to the chagrin of some of her naysayers. Jann went on to achieve much acclaim from many in the community for whom she served. She was an accomplished author, and greatly respected educator- being voted best teacher on many occasions.

Jann was an amazing woman who gave her everything to anyone in need. She brought joy, wonder, and inspiration to not just her many students, but also her many friends, and family. She had a talent for building and molding one’s own self-confidence, and for helping motivate others to realize their full potential… especially those she taught- both young and old. Jann had both sass and charm, but it was her empathy and compassion that really shined through. It was often said that she cared more about others than she cared about herself. She was a beacon of light for those who were surrounded in darkness. Though she is no longer with us in physical form, we shall take comfort in knowing that her life was full of purpose, and that she dedicated her life to helping others. Jann Jansen’s influence and the long-lasting effect of her spiritual glow will remain in our memories, and will help us hold fast to our own dreams- very much like she did to hers. May her soul rest in peace, and her memory live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate to be graced by her presence, her love, and her care.

Friends, family, colleagues and former students are invited to a celebration of Jann’s life which will be held at the shaded lawn area between the DVC Student Union Center and Jann’s favorite location on campus, the Duck Pond. The memorial service will start at 11am on Monday, October 4th, 2021. If you are planning on being in attendance, please notify her son, Warner Jansen, by email at jliam2004@aol.com, or by text message to (818) 399-1750 so that he can plan accordingly for an accurate size of attendees at the service. Many thanks in advance.

Marta Gillen

Sr. Executive Assistant

President’s Office

She/her pronouns