ForeverMissed

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Jan was a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a grandmother who dedicated her life to caring for other people. She kept our memories alive with songs and stories and traditions and poems. Jan loved the Lord and her church family. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” was her favorite verse, and she built her life on that faith. 

No matter how hard things were, her starting point was always love. She took every possible chance to let us all know that we were loved, cherished, wanted. She showed us through countless gifts and acts that said: “Remember! You are special!” She taught us about strength, vulnerability, playfulness, and how to turn any day into a holiday. She was a master with puns (you might call her a pundit, or a pun-slinger even). She was one of the purest hearts we’ve ever known.

We love her so much.


Donate in Jan's Memory

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation in Jan’s name to one of the following organizations:

  • The Alzheimer's Association: Alzheimer’s and dementia affected many of Jan’s loved ones, from her sister Linda, to her sister-in-law Bean, to her mother Emma. The Alzheimer’s Association seeks to eliminate the disease through the advancement of research and provides care to millions living with the disease. Make a donation in Jan’s name here: https://act.alz.org/site/Donation
  • The COPD Foundation: Jan lived with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for many years. The COPD Foundation supports research that will lead to prevention and a cure, and provides free services and materials to 210 million people living with COPD worldwide. Make a donation in Jan’s name here: https://www.copdfoundation.org/Take-Action/Donate/Donate-Now.aspx
  • Alston Road Church of Christ: This church has been Jan’s spiritual family since her sons were in diapers over 35 years ago. Members of the church have provided friendship, comfort, and care to Jan, Brent, and Drew throughout their lives. If you’d like to donate to the church, donations can be made in person at the memorial.

We'd like to know about your gift so that we can see the cumulative impact that Jan's memory is having in the world and so we can share our gratitude with you. We welcome you to leave a note on the Tribute page.


Posted by Lynell Landry on May 9, 2019
I was one of Jan's classmates in Nederland. I pray the Lord will give you comfort in your time of loss. The Class of 1974 has just made a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in Jan's Name.
Posted by MARSHA DUPLESSIS on April 23, 2019
I just got the Internet back today and just heard about Jan. I am so sorry Brent and Drew although I know how much she loved both of you so much. Everytime we talked, which was every couple of weeks, she always talked about how proud she was of you and that she loved and missed you both. Since we traveled so much together, I will miss her forever. Susie was kind enough to break the news to me. Rest in peace Jan. Drew or Brent, please get in touch with me as I have something to tell you. Marsha
Posted by Diane Mills on April 22, 2019
Jan was a fellow Grimmlin (Michael Grimm fan), who I found out was also a fellow Clay Aiken fan, so we shared a love of singers gifted with fabulous voices! She was one of the most gracious, tolerant and kind people I have ever met, even with those whose opinions she disagreed with. And her collages were beautiful! I am so glad she spent some precious times with her sons and their families, and it was clear they loved her very much! We will all miss her down here, but the angels are rejoicing...I made a donation in her memory to the COPD Foundation and hope their efforts can help others who suffer from this, including my husband who recently went on oxygen.
Posted by Monica Spittler on April 19, 2019
I have many of the same memories that Christy Guess shared (minus band). I moved to Texas before starting 7th grade and met Jan at school. We lived five houses apart from each other so we saw each other almost every day. Our friendship remained strong through all the years of school and after. We shared the births of our children and many life events throughout the years. Her friendship stayed steadfast and watching her facing her health issues with courage was very inspiring. Her love for her family was without question. We had a fifty year friendship for which I will always cherish. Knowing she will reunite with her family members in heaven makes it a bit easier to let go, but she will be missed by so many.
Posted by Ryan Rhodes on April 18, 2019
Our cousin Jan was a very special person who cared deeply about family and all those around her. Amidst our sadness at her passing, we are proud to donate in her name to the Alzheimer's Association. May this symbol of Jan's giving spirit help bring comfort to other families like ours. 
With Love,
Danielle and Ryan Rhodes

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Lynell Landry on May 9, 2019
I was one of Jan's classmates in Nederland. I pray the Lord will give you comfort in your time of loss. The Class of 1974 has just made a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in Jan's Name.
Posted by MARSHA DUPLESSIS on April 23, 2019
I just got the Internet back today and just heard about Jan. I am so sorry Brent and Drew although I know how much she loved both of you so much. Everytime we talked, which was every couple of weeks, she always talked about how proud she was of you and that she loved and missed you both. Since we traveled so much together, I will miss her forever. Susie was kind enough to break the news to me. Rest in peace Jan. Drew or Brent, please get in touch with me as I have something to tell you. Marsha
Posted by Diane Mills on April 22, 2019
Jan was a fellow Grimmlin (Michael Grimm fan), who I found out was also a fellow Clay Aiken fan, so we shared a love of singers gifted with fabulous voices! She was one of the most gracious, tolerant and kind people I have ever met, even with those whose opinions she disagreed with. And her collages were beautiful! I am so glad she spent some precious times with her sons and their families, and it was clear they loved her very much! We will all miss her down here, but the angels are rejoicing...I made a donation in her memory to the COPD Foundation and hope their efforts can help others who suffer from this, including my husband who recently went on oxygen.
her Life

A Brief Biography

Jan was born on August 11, 1956, the youngest of four siblings and fourteen cousins. She grew up surrounded and shaped by the love of her family. Jan also grew up deeply involved in church community, which formed her faith and deep love for God.

In high school and college she became an excellent clarinet player, performing and traveling as a top musician at Lamar University. She also brought her excellence and creativity to her work in the music department at Lamar, Florida College Dry Creek Camp, and other various administrative positions throughout life.  

A woman of courage, Jan volunteered as a covert informant for the FBI, traveled to Russia to support the work of a local church there, and wrote award winning poetry and short stories. She brought love, thoughtfulness, and vibrancy to all of her pursuits.

Jan committed most of her adult life to loving and raising her sons, Brent and Drew, and imparting her signature creativity to them. As her health made work more challenging, Jan continued to love and serve others by making photo tributes and writing playful and reflective poetry. She had long friendships, a deep faith, and loved her family to the very end.

Throughout her life she constantly said: “With God the rainbow is always bigger than the storm.”

The Early Years

By Dennis Ritchie, her older brother -

Jan was born into the Ritchie-Badgett family in Port Arthur, TX in 1956 as the youngest of four Ritchie siblings and fourteen Badgett cousins. From the earliest age she was immersed in family, most of whom lived in and around Port Arthur. It was a blessing for her to grow up in the midst of a loving, caring family where she had wonderful examples of love, dedication, and commitment that helped to shape her life and character.

From the beginning, Jan began attending church services with her family at the church that her grandfather helped to plant in the early 1900s. There and with her family she learned the importance of spiritual things and this influence continued and grew throughout her life.

Jan talked much about her formative years on 5th Street in Port Arthur where many of her most cherished memories were made. She shared a bedroom with her older sister Linda from whom she learned how the older children lived. Jan attended DeQueen Elementary School in Port Arthur through the fourth grade. It was appropriately located directly across the street from her beloved Grandma Badgett’s house. This was the same school that her mother and all her siblings attended. She even had some of the same teachers as her siblings.

Jan moved with her immediate family to Nederland in 1966 where she completed her elementary, Jr. High, and High school education. Although in some ways this was a difficult move for her, she continued to share a room with Linda until she graduated from college and moved away and enjoyed the same church which provided continuity and stability while she made new friends and memories. While in Nederland, Jan began playing in the band, something she loved to do and continued into college.

The College Years

By Junelle Gatza, her dear friend and sister in Christ -

Jan and I met in the All-Region Band when we were in High School.  I was second chair and she was first.  She loved playing the clarinet and she was very competitive!  After discovering that we were both members of the Lord’s church, our friendship deepened.  We attended Lamar University (she was one year ahead of me) where we both played clarinet in the bands.  Jan loved the LU Marching Band and she really enjoyed attending the games and performing. We made numerous trips with both the Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble.  She was always so bubbly and excited on our trips and had that cute little laugh!  Jan was very dedicated to the Lamar University Music Department where she served as the Band Secretary for a number of years. Everyone depended on Jan to run things smoothly.

Once we both married (she was a bridesmaid in my wedding) and began our families, we continued to stay in touch. My husband and I would make trips to Houston to visit her and her family. One of my greatest memories is how excited she was at Christmastime!  She loved this time of year! We would go looking at Christmas lights and visit the Christmas Store.  She loved her sweet boys and was so proud of them as they grew. She loved to talk on the phone and “catch up” with all the important events in our lives.

As we aged, we both ended up caring for our mothers with Alzheimer’s.  Jan was a devoted daughter and spent countless hours with her mother. Jan gave so much of herself to others until her health prevented her from doing the things she wanted to do. I will always remember her example of service to others.

Recent stories
Shared by Brent and Drew Dixon on April 24, 2019

From Beth Badgett Voss, cousin:

Jan always had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the world.  

I loved when she would go get the old family pictures and we would relive our times at Grandma's, playing store and laughing with family.  She burst with pride when she talked about her boys. 

 I remember when she told me Drew had tried out for the school musical for the first time ever--and he was given the lead!--He would be playing the role of Jesus!  We were out of our minds excited together! --And I remember when Brent insisted on staying home from college one semester to take care of her.--Every time I called her or went to see her, those two would be laughing and having the best time!

She certainly had her own unique and special way of fun and loving all she knew--but so happy and excited for her "new"--How beautiful Heaven must be!--It's easy to picture her with Jesus and all her loved ones already there.--She helped us stay connected here on earth with all her pictures and memories. We love and miss her so much!

Shared by Brent and Drew Dixon on April 24, 2019

From Karin McDonald, friend and sister in Christ:

I spent a lot of time with Jan the last several months which were absolutely fun!  We spent several holidays together, and she would surprise me with treats like eggnog, cocoa, fruit smoothies and root beer floats.  

When she euthanized her cat of 17 years, Kelly, she called me in tears asking if I could stay the night with her and the rest of the weekend.  Being friends with her was so special.

Shared by Brent and Drew Dixon on April 24, 2019

From Nita Badgett McCracken, cousin:  

Family was Jan’s greatest joy!

During a visit to our cousin Beth’s several years ago, Jan gave me a priceless gift - a photo album she created for me with family photos from long ago.   I will treasure it forever. We looked through all of the pictures together, and she shared the sweetest comments about each person.