Janá was a proud wife of a veteran, loving mother, a compassionate teacher, and a big kid at heart. We are all better for knowing and loving her.
  • 38 years old
  • Born on August 10, 1973 in Petaluma, California, United States.
  • Passed away on November 11, 2011 in Salem, Oregon, United States.

Janá Lee Kuest (K7NOE-SK), 38, born on August 10, 1973 and passed away on November 11, 2011 at 1531 hours as a result of injuries sustained in head-on car crash on Hwy 22 near Stayton, Oregon. Her 10-year old son, Garrett, and his 9-year old friend survived the crash.  She leaves behind her husband of almost 15 1/2 years, Fred R. Kuest (K7FRK), and her son, Garrett Kuest (K7GIK). Internment was held at Willamette National Cemetery on November 18, 2011. A Memorial Service was held on November 19, 2011.

Janá graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Special Education Endorsement.  While at LCSC, Janá met and then married Fred Robert Kuest (Class of 1998) on May 25, 1996.

Janá taught in the Hillsboro School District since 1999 and was most recently a teacher at Brookwood Elementary.  What made her a great teacher was her compassion and understanding for each student.  As her principal, Molly Siebert, said, “She had a real gift for connecting with students others saw as difficult.”  That single sentence sums up Janá as a teacher.  She cared not only about the academic success of her students, but their success in life as well.

Janá ran her life and classroom by many rules.  Recently, she did a project with her students based on the character Leroy Jethro Gibbs from the TV show NCIS.  Gibbs’ Rules outline the code he lives his life by.  Janá came up her own rules and then had her class brain storm their own rules.  Because she needed to have the students write a five paragraph essay and was tired of hearing, “I don’t know what to write about,” Janá decided to have the students pick their top three rules and write about why they are important to them.  When she explained the assignment to the parents at student conferences, every parent loved it.  It was her belief that her students would succeed in school and life by following all of her rules, especially her top three rules.

#1: You success is greatly influenced by your attitude.

#2: Rumors are like feathers in a pillow.  Once they are scattered, it is impossible to get them all back.

#3: Trust is a strong bond that is easily broken.

Janá was also known to have fun in the classroom and was known to kill words that were overused in her classroom.  Her former students still remember the day in reading group when Janá killed the word fun.  Fred remembers walking into her classroom one day and seeing a large paper tombstone with the word “fun” on it and indicating the date the word died.  Little did her students know Janá was about to kill the word “like” this year.

Janá was a big kid at heart.  She loved children, and they loved her back.  She worked in the Nursery at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church and also volunteered for several years as a leader with Garrett’s Cub Scout pack.  Many people and students have said something negative about themselves in front of Janá and were met with her standard reply, “Five positives about yourself, please.”  She would not drop the issue or let people off of the hook until she got them to say five positive things about themselves.  Her integrity and unique ability to bring out the best in a person will be missed by many, especially her students.

Posted by Tanya Noe on 12th November 2016
I can't believe it's been 5 years that we haven't got to see your smile or hear your amazing laugh. As I teach the children at my current job I continue to pray that I can live the legacy you lived. Showing the children in each interaction how much their Saviour truly loves them!!!! Miss you sister and can't wait to run with you on the streets of gold when we both meet our Saviour in the clouds!!!! Until then, rest well.
Posted by Tanya Noe on 11th November 2015
I still miss you and think of you every day Na'Na'!! I can't wait to see you again when we walk the streets of gold. Schnoodles got really sick and we had to put her down. It's hard to lose the ones we love. Maybe she will walk with us on those same streets of gold. I wish you were here to meet our new furmily member. She is a little YorkiPoo and the name she came with is NaeNae!!! You would love her. She's full of energy and ornery. But a little cuddle bug too. Miss and love you lots baby sister!!!!! Until we fly together to live with our Saviour......rest well my sister.
Posted by Tanya Noe on 10th August 2015
Happy Birthday Na'Na'!!! You are always on my heart and mind. I love you Na' and strive everyday to be even half the woman you were. You had an amazing gift. The ability to make every child feel important and loved. And your childlike love for life was contagious. I can't wait to see your smile again and see you running the streets of gold. See ya in the sky sister.
Posted by Tanya Noe on 11th November 2014
I miss you Na'........can't wait to see you again whole and healed. I love you sister!!!!!!! You are in my thoughts and heart every day. I think I will do a little Wii boxing in honor of you today :) Rest peacefully sis.
Posted by Anthony Alfaro-Eichler on 4th February 2014
To mrs Kuest as I go into high school. I remember the fun you had the class do like when we made a web out of string. Also when you played music when we worked on assignments. But when I found out you had passed I cried so much. But I will always remember you in my memories, dreams, and the school. So fair well school guru
Posted by Leona Noe on 11th November 2013
My dear daughter: You are so very missed. It's hard to pass the place where you took your last breath every day. I miss your laughter and your love for life. Every time I see your son I am so reminded of you. I know I will see you in heaven some day. You touched so many lives during your short life here on earth. I am so proud of you. I love you.
Posted by Leona Noe on 11th November 2012
Jana' My Precious Daughter. I was just thinking all day that this was the last day of your life last year. I can still see you leaving our house and my waving goodbye. Didn't realize it would be my last goodbye though. I would have hugged you harder and kissed you. I miss the phone calls and text messages from you. My phone doesn't ring as much now. Love Mom
Posted by Maggie Richardson on 11th November 2012
I started building the frog fence in the Brookwood garden for you today Jana. Some of the children on the playground gave it their stamp of approval. It will be good to visit the cemetery to honor the one year anniversary. Each day that goes by feels like it's taking me further from the last moments we shared face to face but maybe I'm just moving closer to when we'll get to meet up again?
Posted by Maggie Richardson on 10th August 2012
Happy Birthday Jana! I was at school today getting ready to move into your classroom and looked around at so many things that are there to remind me of you. I hope filling your learning space will help me to celebrate you each day and make missing you a little less painful. Starting a new year without you will be difficult but I know I can find ways to honor you. Always in my heart, Maggie
Posted by Peggy Sacks on 7th June 2012
Dear Jana, You left some pretty big shoes to fill. I tried, I did my best, I felt your guidence when I needed it, I hope I did right by you and the students. As the year comes to a close we are once again reminded of how much we miss you and remember the gifts you left behind. The kids have grown so much and have so much more road ahead of them. See ya when I see ya. Love ya Peggy
Posted by Tanya Noe on 21st May 2012
Missing you lots sister! Wishing I could call you and get lots of great teaching advice. You were such an awesome teacher. When I think of all the children's lives you have touched and changed, I am in awe. I hope I can be as positive an influence in the children's lives I meet too. Love you! Can't wait to see you again, whole and healed!
Posted by Jim Noe on 20th April 2012
Jana our 3rd daughter was a real friend also. When we traveled she would sit behind me and massage my shoulders and we would talk while the others slept (what a blessed time just the two of us). We did so many things together alone. I have so many wonderful memories and stories I could write all night. . SEE YOU IN HEAVEN JANA."
Posted by Gayle Talcott on 12th April 2012
I miss the early morning talks at school. You always had a solution to any problem that we discussed. I loved your enthusiasm for your students and the pure delight that you took when you created a great lesson for your students. You gave generously of your time and talents and you are dearly missed.
Posted by Barbara Nasewytewa on 5th April 2012
Jana, I miss being greeted by you in the morning, watching your interactions with the students, hearing your laughter and seeing you out on bus duty. I am reminded of you daily and not just at Brookwood. I hope you know how deeply you touch my life. I am grateful I get to see so much of you EVERY day in Garrett. I am blessed to have had you and your family in my life!!
Posted by Maggie Richardson on 4th April 2012
I miss you every day Jana. I miss seeing your big smile, hearing your laugh, and looking up to see you peeking in my classroom door. Brookwood lost a bit of its sparkle on November 11th. Now, I just imagine you playing with all the little kid angels and looking out for all the Brookwood children still. My life has been forever touched by your great attitude, humor, and friendship.
Posted by Fred Kuest on 4th April 2012
Janá, I am so lost without you. Oh how I long to hear your loud, clear voice again, experience your childlike joy, and hug you close one more time. I really wish I could have said goodbye to you before you left, but you already know that. There is a huge void in my life now that you are gone. I will do my best to finish raising Garrett. Thanks for enriching my life so much. I love you!

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