KIES, Janet Rae, mom, boyfriend, emotional supporter, great listener, horse show assistant and self-proclaimed “good person” left this world on April 21, 2021.
She was peaceful, pain-free, surrounded by her loving family and at home when she died. This was her greatest wish to die at home.
Janet lived on the Palmer Divide in Castle Rock, Colorado for the past 11 months, where she loved to gaze at the mountains, the peaceful, falling snow, deer, rabbits and sunflowers. Janet loved to gaze at the vast Colorado sky and marvel at all the different cloud formations. Birdwatching was one of her favorite pastimes in her last months. She loved Castle Rock street markets – before the pandemic. Loved going to the pumpkin fields and driving around and looking at all the Christmas lights. Her dogs were also a big part of her life, of course, and she cherished them. Reading was her personal passion, and it would be hard for anyone to find a book she hadn’t read!
Memorial service, visit, cremation and funeral are private and only for the family.
Janet was born in West Allis, Wisconsin on December 17, 1936 to Frances and Earl Swick, but lived most of her life in Virginia before moving to Castle Rock in May 2020.
My absolutely beautiful mother was the strongest person I have ever met. She survived the Great Depression, World War II, the Great Recession, breast cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy, uterine cancer that resulted in a full hysterectomy, gallbladder cancer and, worst of all, decades of severe psoriatic arthritis pain affecting her joints and sometimes made her immobile. The treatment, methotrexate, was almost worse than the disease because the drug affected her liver and kidneys to such an extent that she could no longer use it and in her final years had to resort to controlling the pain and swelling in her joints with prednisone . Almost NEVER complained of pain, but it was certainly severe. Janet also survived the Coronavirus pandemic and had received both vaccinations.
She worked multiple jobs at once for most of her adult life, single-handedly supporting six children and making sure none of us were left without. Our childhood was full of Mom’s love, riding and going on vacation to visit relatives. Janet gave up piano studies at a major university in order to stay at home with her children.
For most of her life, she worked as a medical transcriptionist at night and as a neurosurgeon’s assistant during the day.
Janet always continued her education and was very proud of her CMA in neurology. After her surgeon retired, Janet happily joined her daughter’s company, Crystal Ice Co., Inc., in Richmond, Virginia, as an office manager and was definitely instrumental in the company’s success.
As a very small child, I remember Mama scratching us all in Yorktown and teaching us all to ride a horse, which we still enjoy; her huge annual Christmas Eve parties were cherished family gatherings that took her many months of careful planning. Janet was always so thoughtful with the gifts she had chosen for her own children and her grandchildren. She always made all of our favorite cookies and meals for her parties.
Janet has taken several wonderful trips in her lifetime, including one to Hawaii and two cross-country road trips in the US with her granddaughter, Rachael, and her son-in-law, Jeff. Above all, Janet lovingly cherished her family’s visits to the cosmos.
Survived by five children, Lynda Rae Kies (divorced), Teresa Bruffey Hall (husband, Jeff Hall), Carolyn Paige Melton (husband, David Simmons), David Michael Kies (wife, Donna Kies) and Elizabeth Ann Beadles (husband, Alan Beadles) ).
Survived by 12 grandchildren, Alexander Clark, Cristopher Clark, Ashley Kegan Clark, Rachael Bruffey, Brian Bruffey, Chris Melton, Sarah Melton, Brandon Kanakis-Pennell, Jason Kies, Taylor Kies, Frances Kies Colvin and Alexandra Kies Sargent.
Survived by 13 great-grandchildren, Rhia Melton, Anthony Fleming, Reese Fleming, Raelyn Colvin, Wyatt Colvin, Kade Sargent, Weston Kies, Helena Kanakis-Pennell, Marie Kanakis-Pennell, Meredith Rae Clark, Olivia Clark, Madison Clark, and Aerowyn Guan.
Persecuted in death by her mother, Frances Swick; stepfather, Anthony Carlo; brother, Monte Swick; and her beloved youngest son, Stephen Andrew Kies.
Please remember Jan’s love for dogs by contributing on her behalf to her favorite dog rescue: https://www.carerva.com/.
Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on April 25, 2021.