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Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“We are so sorry to hear of Jans passing. May you find comfort in The Lord.T ”
1 of 4 | Posted by: Virgil Brant - Gladstone - Family

“My sympathy to the family. I played (baritone) in the Luther College Concert Band with Janice. I have let other band members know of her death. I...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: June Tesch Torrison - Decorah, IA

“Randy & Laura, Your family will definitely be in my prayers during this difficult time. I enjoyed going to your Majesty Quartet concerts when you...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Sharon Bennink - Des Moines, IA

“What a lovely tribute. Jan lead a very impressive life. Your family is in my prayers ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Linda Shackelford - Pleasant Hill, IA

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Janice Byrd passed away January 2, 2021. A visitation will be 11:00-1:00 p.m., January 8, 2021 at Ankeny Memorial Funeral Home (4208 N Ankeny Blvd). A funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m., January 8th also at the funeral home.

Janice Ann Garrison (Byrd) was born in Oelwein, Iowa on Dec 11, 1933 to Kirk and Ardys Garrison. She married Ernest Byrd on June 22, 1958 at the First Baptist Church in Oelwein. They had two sons, Kevin of Ankeny Iowa and Randy of McAllen Texas.

She graduated from Luther College at Decorah Iowa in 1955 majoring in music and teaching. She served 29 years as a teacher for Head Start, vocal and instrumental music in both elementary and high school, and elementary education, retiring in 1984. She taught in Robbinsdale MN, Tripoli IA, Quincy IL, and Bellevue, IA. She achieved things as a woman that were uncommon in that day. In early years she was a cornet prodigy and traveled the US and Canada as part of a traveling band. She was honored as the first female solo chair trumpet under the famous Westin Noble at Luther. She was the first female music program director at a school in NE Iowa. Her skill and technique would have supported a professional career but she chose to teach and raise a family.

Jan was a dedicated servant and friend throughout her life. Her enthusiasm, wit, and drive touched many lives. She was always inspiring people around her in education and exceling in life. She provided musical support to her churches with piano, organ, choir, cornet solos, accompaniment of small groups. She taught piano lessons. She was an artist and writer who loved to send cards and letters with sketches and drawings. She had an excellent memory up until her death and was always sincerely interested in people's lives.

During retirement she and Ernie explored, living in Bellevue IA, Mountain Home AR, Waterloo IA, at Millpond Retirement center in Ankeny IA, and final 7 years at Madrid Home in Madrid IA.

Jan was proceeded in death by her husband and parents and survived by sister Jean Hartman of Jesup Iowa, son Kevin and Carol Byrd of Ankeny Iowa, son Randy and Laura Byrd of McAllen Texas, six grandchildren, Valerie Backhaus of McAllen Texas, Julie DeLauter of Chicago Illinois, John Byrd of McAllen Texas, James, Olivia, Casey Byrd of Ankeny Iowa, and two great grandchildren, Ivy and Miles Backhaus of McAllen Texas.

Memorials will be given to the Madrid Home in Madrid in honor of the 7 years they cared like family for both Dad and Mom. During this last year of Covid lockdown they became the only family residents had. The numbers show how tremendous of a job they together accomplished of keeping residents healthy. Our loss of Jan is deeply felt amongst the staff there as well.