Janet (Drago) Obando, 68, died Dec. 16, 2020, while at home and with her family at her side. She was greatly loved by her family and friends.
Janet was born in Omaha, Neb., on Feb. 28, 1952. She was the eldest of five siblings born to Esther (Thurman) and Bill Drago. Janet attended Linn-Mar schools from kindergarten through graduation in 1970 and received a B.S. from ISU in family services and an M.S. in adult education. Janet served in the Peace Corps in Colombia from 1974 to 1976, where she met her future husband of 40 years, Heberth C. Obando.
Janet provided leadership in a variety of student initiatives. She was employed with the Extension Service as 4H &and youth leader in Hamilton and Wright counties for eight years. She also served international students as a specialist with the 4H International Exchange Programs on the ISU campus and as the associate director for the IEOP (ISU English & Orientation Program) for three years.
The Obando family moved to Wichita and Janet became the international student advisor at Butler Community College for eight years. When the family moved to Jacksonville, Texas, she taught Spanish for five years before returning to the home farm near Marion, Iowa,, where she taught Spanish for 10 years in the Springville School District.
Janet loved gardening, hosting family gatherings, traveling, fixing up the farm house she grew up in as well as biking and dancing with her husband.
She wanted to thank the staff and volunteers at the Hall Perrine Cancer Center (Mercy Medical Center) and Hospice for their care. She especially wanted to thank Dr. Deborah Wilbur for her expertise.
Janet will be sorely missed by her family, Christopher in Wichita, Kan. (Alma) with Jeramiah, Jazleen and Janet; Nicolas in Houston, Texas (Hoda) with Mia; Liliana Roddy in Houston, Texas (Blake) with Alliana and Rex; and Peter in Winterset, Iowa (Kelsi) with Daniel. Her compassion and guidance will be missed by her siblings, Melissa Rucker (Denny) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Melinda Vance (Al) in West Plains, Mo., Will Drago (Chris Clements) in Stoughton, Wis., and Robin Vasquez (Felix) in Bakersfield, Calif.
There will be a small family service. In honor of Janet and in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Iowa Yucatan Partners of the Americas (c/o William Edwards, 2232 170th St., Boone, IA 50036) or to the Van Vechten Guild (c/o Peoples Church UU, 4980 Gordon Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405).