Janet Sieder Carlsen passed away on December 5, 2018 at the age of 82. She died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Her death was peaceful and serene at Angela’s Hospice Center in Livonia, Michigan. She had around the clock care from the staff and her family.
Janet was born in Detroit on September 11, 1936. She graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1954 and was off to the University of Michigan where she earned her BA in Elementary Education (1958). During her sophomore year at U of M, she met and fell in love with handsome, friendly, and driven Donald Carlsen. They married on April 8, 1958. They had been married for 55 years when he passed away on December 4, 2013. To many, they were viewed as a unit – Don & Jan – and were truly lifelong partners.
Janet was an amazing, dedicated mom to her four children: Jim (Beth) Carlsen, Sue (Shawn) Wetter, Julie (Tim) Biggs and Lin (Joe) Vollmer. She was also a wonderful grandmother to her ten grandchildren: David (Molly), Kathleen, Mac, Sarah (Jack), Joey, Connor, Tristan, Kyle, Keegan and Cameron.
Janet and Don made the Midland community their home for the majority of their lives. Their summers were spent in Leland, Michigan – the special place that was their second home. Janet spent her final two and a half years at Walton Wood Memory Care in Novi, Michigan.
Janet was an educator by trade, however, her brief teaching career was delayed as she focused on being a stay at home mom. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that she resumed her love of teaching at the Chippewa Pre-school in Midland, Michigan. That being said, she indeed spent her entire life teaching us every day; the importance of family and seizing the most of every day.
Over the years, Janet’s focus and commitment was family fun and making memories together. She planned family weeks at the cottage, cruises, resorts, and individual trips with the grandchildren. She loved to sail her Sunfish, climb the sand dunes, watch the sunset at Lake Michigan, rollerblade, bike ride, listen to music on her iPod, and attend her grandchildren’s special events any time she possibly could. In addition, Janet had a joy for music that she kept even through Alzheimer’s. She enjoyed music concerts and attending the Sunday Night Sing at the Leland Country Club. She also loved keeping her iPod loaded with her favorite music. Finally, she was a master memory keeper with her gift of scrapbooking. She took countless photos and created special, handwritten journals that her family has enjoyed and will continue to treasure.
Over the years, Jan was involved in many organizations in Midland. She was a girl scout as a child and a leader for each of her daughters’ troops as they grew up. She was an active member of Memorial Presbyterian church and served as a Youth Fellowship Advisor. She also participated in the Leadership Midland program and the Rotary Exchange student program. Janet and Don hosted countless exchange students over the years and welcomed each into our family.
Janet is preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Eileen Sieder, as well as her husband, Don Carlsen. She is survived by her four children and ten grandchildren.
A celebration of Jan’s life is planned for Sunday, December 16th at 2:00. The memorial will be held at Memorial Presbyterian Church 1310 Ashman Street with Reverend Wallace H. Mayton officiating.
The church will be decorated beautifully for Christmas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to made to:
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
This nonprofit has funded nearly $82 Million dollars in Alzheimer’s research since their founding in 2004. It has received four stars from Charity Navigator for their financial decisions, transparency, and accountability. While Janet peacefully passed this December, we sadly lost many of her special and unique characteristics over the last few years as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. Please consider making a donation in her name.