Janet Lee Robbins, 65, of Bainbridge Island, Washington, passed away at home, late on the evening of Feb. 8, 2017, of multiple myeloma. She was surrounded by love with her sister and dear friends by her side.
Janet was born in Lewiston, Idaho, on June 12, 1951, at 7:07 (a time that was relevant to her career later on) to E. Jane Robbins, and Robert W. Robbins. Her father’s career took her to St. Paul, Minnesota, Grand Island, Nebraska, Fargo, North Dakota, Madison, Wisconsin, and eventually to Boise, Idaho in 1959. Her parents later divorced. She attended Washington Grade School, North Junior High, and graduated from Boise High School in 1969. In 1966, our mother married John L. Hunter, who became a loving father and role model to Janet and Kathy.
During high school, Janet worked part-time at Brookover’s, a high-end women’s clothing store, because she loved fashion and stylish clothes. Janet attended the University of Idaho from 1969-1971, where she was a member of the Beta Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi, was a Vandalette in the drill team, and where she made many life-long friends.
She was accepted by two airlines to become a flight attendant, accepting a position with United Airlines, and started her career on Feb. 14, 1971. She worked for United Airlines for over 40 years. During her time with United Airlines, she was based in Newark, New Jersey, and Denver, Colorado. While based in Denver, she met John Speirs, and they married on August 12, 1983. They transferred to Seattle, Washington, and later divorced, but remained good friends.
Janet met and married her soul mate, Stephen Haugseth. Steve brought out the best in her, exposing her to skiing, camping and hiking, and an occasional backpacking trip. She enjoyed being his first mate on his sail boat attending to ‘galley duties’. He passed away in March of 2002.
Watching TCM movies, westerns, and the Oscar’s were something Janet loved. She could name every actor in every movie. Her interests extended to all aspects of life. She was passionate about gardening, planting flowers, ghost hunting and paranormal activities, collecting antiques, (like her mom), traveling the world with her family, and sister road trips to National Parks. Even though she lived a very active life, she still had a list of so many things yet to see. Space shuttles and exploration fascinated her. She enjoyed history, dancing, and too many activities to list. She loved entertaining her neighbors and friends with ‘pu pus’ and wine when they gathered on her lawn. Giving ‘me-prizes’ (gifts) when she found something fun for her friends and family, was something she enjoyed doing.
Janet had a zest and childlike exuberance for life, and she loved decorating her home for Halloween, Christmas, and especially the 4th of July. She shared her enthusiasm for fireworks with the neighbors. Her laughter was infectious, and she could often be heard having fun on the beach. Janet was generous, and enjoyed helping others. She made a difference in so many lives, touching so many people.
Her mother once wrote in her baby book, “Janet seems to make a hit with everyone she meets: that is, she seems always to be on her best behavior, giving people her best smile.” As friends have said, her million dollar smile and gorgeous blue eyes will be greatly missed. A light has gone out for all of us that loved her. Janet would say of herself “I have no particular talents, but I’m a lot of fun to be with.”
As Janet’s time here came to a close, she wanted to thank the nurses at the Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington, and the nurses and staff at the Harrison Hematology and Oncology office in Poulsbo, Washington for their many acts of kindness. Most of all, she wanted to thank her loving parents for the opportunities, and life they gave her. She was eternally grateful to them. Kathy would like to thank all the friends who were caregivers; neighbors and others who dropped off meals; and the many cards, emails, and support given to both Janet and Kathy.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents, E. Jane Hunter, Robert W. Robbins and her husband Steve Haugseth. She is survived by her step-father, John L. Hunter, of Boise, Idaho; her sister, Kathy Robbins of Salt Lake City, Utah; a step-brother, Gary Reid, of Everett, Washington; and 3 sisters-in-law, Kristine Haugseth (Steini), Julie Arnevick (Rick) Jill Hendel (D.R.), all in the Seattle area.
In lieu of flowers, Janet requested donations be made to the Northwest Harvest P.O. Box 12272 Seattle, WA. 98102-9913, or to a local food bank of your choice.
A celebration of Janet’s life will be held June 10th at 1:00 pm at Grace Episcopal Church, 8595 NE Day Road East, Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110.