Janis H. Van Eman
is honored with a Large Paver
from Lanny E. Van Eman.
In 1958 Janis Benedict matriculated at what was then Wichita University. She was a graduate of McKeesport, Pennsylvania High School and chose to pursue her undergraduate education in Wichita because of her interest in special education, the Institute of Logopedics, and the fact that there were numerous former classmates who were already enrolled there.
Janis lived in Grace Wilkie Hall, worked in the office of student services for Josephine Fugate and George Comstock, respective deans for women and men, and was active in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She obtained her first degree from the College of Education in 1962. Subsequently, Janis received her master's in speech pathology from the University of Arkansas. She has taught at the aforementioned universities as well as Western Kentucky University, West Virginia University and Oregon State University. In addition, she has worked in speech rehabilitation for several private companies.
In 1961 Janis married former high school and college classmate, Lanny Van Eman. Lanny, too, was a student at Wichita State University. He was also an athlete and coach at the university in both baseball and basketball in the early '60s. They have two children, Robert and Lauren, both born at Wesley Medical Hospital. Janis and Lanny reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Janis Van Eman, My Mother
I lift my glass to the single most honorable and loving person I know, my beloved mother. You have taught me to love and cherish the simple things in life; you could never be poor if you understand the necessary principle of living that you can have it all. You have passed this on to me and I am to be forever satisfied. (Certainly, no one can take away my appreciation of music, dogs or plants.) You have shown me how to love and nothing could be more meaningful. Your sensitive nature has made you the consummate consensus-builder, and you have given so much of yourself to make sure Dad, Robert, Uncle and I are happy. Did you think I did not notice?
Mom, you trusted me to make wise, thoughtful decisions and always gave me the benefit of the doubt. Moreover, you had the wisdom to know that I would not want to let you down. Of course I did cause you concern from time to time, and of course I was tougher on myself than you would have ever been. You've managed to pinch-hit for me so many times and you made sure I did not miss out on Nordstrom's half-yearly shoe sale! You gave me a long leash, unconditional respect, boundless trust and love. What gifts.
Mother, you've taught me the joy of service, and you've nurtured my dreams. In your own quiet way, you have shown me how to forgive, as you've always forgiven and taken the high road. You have yielded up the riches of your soul every day that you breathe life in and out, and your legacy will go on and on as Mimi's will.
I love my life and this is the largest tribute I can give to you and Dad.
Forever in your spirit, your grateful daughter, Lauren.
A unique and special lady, Janis Van Eman
My mother means more to me than any person in the world. That may be the way it is supposed to be, but in her case she was able to extend herself more for me than most people are capable. It is impossible for me to imagine how I would have dealt with the trials and tribulations of my youthful life without her. Patience, wisdom and insightful advice were timely and never in short supply when my road got bumpy or despair seemed to creep in.
While her attributes are many, I think of joy and cheer as two of her more prominent traits. From dawn to dusk we would be the beneficiaries of her contagious, upbeat demeanor which touched everyone with whom she came in contact. I have been truly blessed to have a mother who has been dependable no matter what the situation. I could rely on her to speak with clear, understandable thoughts when I was faced with the typical challenges of young adulthood.
My mother's spiritual guidance is something I call upon everyday and I thank God that she has shared her life with me.
My friend, my partner, my spouse
Ours has been a growing, caring relationship since our early teens. Drawn from different backgrounds it seems we have grasped the strengths of our parents and have not ever let go. We are proud of our heritage and even prouder of the longevity of our commitment to each other.
As my wife, Janis, has been the example, the teacher and the leader through tough times. She has also been the stabilizing influence when life seemed too good to be true. She has helped me keep my focus and has enabled me to avoid distraction when the challenge was great. As Elizabeth Barrett stated in her Portuguese sonnet, "I love thee not for whom you are but for what I am when I am with you." This then, is why a tribute to Janis H. Van Eman is appropriate and long overdue. She truly has been the "wind beneath my wings"!
Lanny E. Van Eman