Janet Siegrist Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Janet S. Siegrist

April 28, 1923 - February 28, 2014
Obituary

Janet Schmidt Siegrist was born on April 28, 1923, in New York City to Harry Schmidt, a stockbroker, and Helene Addicks, the granddaughter of Theodore Wagner, California's first surveyor general. She grew up in Larchmont, N.Y., and as a teenager excelled in equestrian events, garnering many awards. Wishing to contribute to the war effort, she attended Flower Fifth Avenue School of Nursing at NYU and became an RN. As a young visiting nurse in Rye, NY, she met William Siegrist III, a newspaper reporter and Amherst graduate, whom she married on September 15, 1951. The couple moved to Arizona, where their first child, Malane, was born....
Janet Schmidt Siegrist was born on April 28, 1923, in New York City to Harry Schmidt, a stockbroker, and Helene Addicks, the granddaughter of Theodore Wagner, California's first surveyor general. She grew up in Larchmont, N.Y., and as a teenager excelled in equestrian events, garnering many awards. Wishing to contribute to the war effort, she attended Flower Fifth Avenue School of Nursing at NYU and became an RN.

As a young visiting nurse in Rye, NY, she met William Siegrist III, a newspaper reporter and Amherst graduate, whom she married on September 15, 1951. The couple moved to Arizona, where their first child, Malane, was born. After William was offered a position with U.S. News and World Report, the couple moved to Alexandria, Va., and following the birth of a second daughter, Lisa, bought a home in Springfield, Va. Janet returned to nursing when the girls were adolescents and would work as a visiting nurse for the next 30 years. The couple divorced in 1977.

Her life had its share of trials, but she was a champion daydreamer with an amazing imagination that allowed her to stay aloft when pressures weighed heavily. She took some pleasure in cultivating the persona of a curmudgeon, but beneath the façade was a shyness she never lost as a child and a compassion that made her beloved among her patients.

Besides nursing, Janet loved her dogs, and at one time owned five of them. Animals of all types were drawn to her as if she had some magnetic pull. She also loved her dear longtime neighbors, mysteries, traveling abroad, fireworks, snowfall, Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, coffee ice cream, dinners every Sunday with her daughter Lisa, "Car Talk" on NPR, Cole Porter, Harry Belafonte, and the 1812 Overture with real canons. But most of all she cherished her daughters and her grandchildren, for whom her love had no bounds.

Janet is survived by her daughter Malane and her husband, Bruce Silver, and their daughter, Skye, of Dunkirk, Md.; daughter Lisa and her husband, Michael Reinemer, and their son, Leif, of Annandale, Va.; her brother, Harry Schmidt Jr. and his wife, Joan, of Geneseo, Ill.; nephew Kurt Schmidt; step-grandchildren Lauren and David Silver and Daniel, Paul, and Maya Gibson-Reinemer; great-grandchildren Anna and Kerith Reinemer; and cousin Lesley McClennan and her husband, John, and their children John and Carrie.

A memorial service for Janet S. Siegrist will be held on March 20, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Church on the Hill, 3606 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, Va., 22304.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Friends of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area, PO Box 821, Orinda, CA 94563. This 18-acre nature preserve occupies a portion of the former property of Janet's great grandfather Theodore Wagner, California's first surveyor general.

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"May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived." Elizabeth Williamson (Woodbridge, VA)

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