Jan Jones Hartford
1935 - 2010
JAN JONES HARTFORD, age 74, died at the Crestview Nursing Home, New
Lisbon Wisconsin, Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 4am. Her husband Lincoln
was with her at the time of her death. Jan was born in a small
house across from the United Methodist Church in Union Center, Dec. 7,
1935, the last of four children, Jerry, Jane, Herb and Jan. Her
mother Faith J. Warden Jones, a teacher, died in pregnancy when Jan was
only four. Jan, with her sister Jane, lived with her Aunt Luella
and Uncle Ed Meyers in Reedsburg, until her father John McAlister
(Collie) Jones, re-married and re-united the family with their new
mother, Ruby Windmeier Jones in 1944. Because Jan’s father was
sheriff of Juneau County 1945-49 they lived in the county jail
facilities in those years.
As a youngster Jan took piano lessons from Mrs.
Blanche Jones and became active at the Methodist Church where Mrs.
Knudsen served as choir director and Jan’s mentor. Jan
excelled in music at Mauston High School and received a
scholarship to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
Following graduation, she taught high school choral music at
Portage, 1957-61, and at Brookfield Central HS 1961-64.
Janice married Lincoln Odell Hartford in 1963, at the Elm
Grove Community United Methodist Church, where Lincoln was
Associate Pastor. Jan directed the choirs at Elm Grove until
they moved to Evanston Illinois while Lincoln finished his
seminary degree. In 1965, they moved to McKeesport,
Pennsylvania where Jan directed church choir, gave piano lessons,
directed the McKeesport Symphony Chorus and played the part of
Bloody Mary in a local production of “South Pacific”.
In 1966 Jan and Lincoln adopted their son Jeff, and in 1968
they moved to Clarion, Pa, where Jan taught high school choral
music and directed the United Methodist Church choir. In
1969 they adopted their daughter Mary and in 1972, they moved back
to the Midwest so that Lincoln could study for his doctoral degree
while Jan worked as a secretary at the University of Chicago
In 1973, they moved to Kenosha Wisconsin where Jan served as
Director of Music, Drama, and Minister to the Aging. In 1975
they moved to Milwaukee where Jan was Director of Music at Kenwood
UMC, and also taught at Harambee School. After nine years at Kenwood Church, they
moved to Madison, where Jan worked as manager of the office for
the American Baptist Church, and became known as Jan the Baptist.
She also directed several choirs, and the music for United Campus
Ministries on the UW campus.
In 1987 Lincoln and Jan moved to Farmington New Mexico as
missionary appointees for work at the Navajo Academy, a
preparatory high school for Navajo young people. Jan taught
music, while Lincoln served as chaplain and academic counselor.
While in the Southwest she and Lincoln camped all over the four
southwestern states. Through her working lifetime Jan
especially loved her students, and the choirs she served.
Jan and Lincoln also spent much enjoyable time visiting
Wales. They considered that lovely land of poetry and song
their second home. Because of this fondness of her Welsh heritage,
Jan kept her Jones family name in her signature. Of
course Jan accumulated a rich cadre of friends from all these
places she and Lincoln called home. She loved them all.
In their last year at the Academy Jan and Lincoln first
noticed the symptoms of what was later to be called Pick’s
disease, a rare brain illness which gradually destroys parts of
the brain that facilitate human functions. After moving to
LeMars in Iowa Jan continued as choir director at the Calvary
United Methodist Church until January 1, 1994, when she officially
retired from all her work positions. While in Iowa, the
University of Iowa Hospitals at Iowa City followed the progress of
her disease. In 1995 Lincoln and Jan moved once more, to
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and in 1997 they retired to their
cottage at Castle Rock Lake. For four years they enjoyed
winters in Green Valley, Arizona. In May of 2001, Jan became
a resident of the Morrow Nursing Home in Sparta, and in January,
2003 she moved to Crestview Home. The family is
grateful for the loving and skilled and faithful care of the
staff at Morrow and Crestview Nursing Homes.
Throughout most of her years of dementia, and the decline of
her intellectual and physical capacities, she continued to appreciate music,
especially ‘her songs’, enjoy the outdoors and being
with people. Her dimpled smile and lovely soprano voice are
the winsome memory of many.
Surviving family members include her husband, Lincoln,
son Jefferson John Hartford, daughter Mary Lucene Hartford,
brother Jerry and his wife Jean, brother Herb and his wife
Loraine. Jan’s sister Jane preceded her in death as did
Jane’s husband Ted Herriot. Jane’s husband Cliff survives.
In addition, Jan leaves many nieces and nephews whom she
treasured, and a large extended family.
There will be two memorial services for her: Sept.
18, 11am, at Kenwood United Methodist Church, across from UWM on
Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee WI, and on Sept 25,
11am at Peace Presbyterian Church, on Oak St, across from the
Court House Annex, Mauston, WI. A luncheon will be served at
the church; the Hartford Home on will be open for fellowship in
the afternoon and evening.
Memorials may be given to the Jan Jones Hartford
Scholarship Fund, established to benefit vocal music education
majors at UW-Milwaukee, Jan’s alma mater. The first grant, for
$500.00 was given this last January. Make checks out to UWM
Foundation/Jan Jones Hartford Scholarship Fund.
1440 East North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202.