Janice Irene (James) Means
Janice Irene (James) Means, 80, died peacefully with her children around her on Thursday, March 19, 2020. For a woman so proud of her Czech heritage, it is fitting that she passed away on St. Joseph's Day. She was born on Feb. 4, 1940, to Harry and Irene (Kadlec) James in Cedar Rapids, and married Carl E. Means in 1964. Together, they had four children.
She is survived by her children, Mary (Matt) Marth of Vienna, Austria, Alice (Chris) Kitterman of Cedar Rapids and Curtis Means of Cedar Rapids; daughter-in-law, Carrie (Nathan) Means of North Liberty; and their daughter, Jan's much loved granddaughter, Lena. She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl; her youngest child, Nathan; and her younger brothers, Dennis and Kenneth.
Jan attended Wilson High School, moving with her whole class to the new Jefferson High School in 1958, where she was a member of its first graduating class. She earned a teaching degree from the Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI), after her student teaching experience at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.
Her early years as a teacher were at Polk Elementary School. After meeting fellow educator Carl at a bowling league for Cedar Rapids teachers and starting a family, they decided she would be a stay-at-home parent for a few years while the kids were young. As they grew, Jan went back to education as a substitute teacher. In her late 50s, Jan decided to go back to college and earned certification to teach special education. She ended her teaching career at Roosevelt Middle School.
After retirement, she and Carl enjoyed traveling around the country by car, spending time at the family cabin on the Wapsi, and all the shared dinners and political discussions with their dear friends.
Her children always will remember how she selflessly took care of them, how talented she was at the piano playing Christmas carols every year, how she taught them to love and appreciate music, and how she and Carl took the family on vacations every summer for several weeks in their trusty old pop-up camper.
Arrangements are being made through Papich-Kuba Funeral Service and condolences may be expressed on their website, www.papich-kubafs.com. Because the family wishes everyone to practice social distancing at this time, services will be private. Her children would like her former colleagues and students, extended family, and her friends to know how grateful she was to know them and how much they enriched her life.