Grandpa Lee passed away last Saturday (August 29th). We all have different memories of Grandpa, mine are all very grand. Grandpa made Christmas growing up more exciting than Santa Claus ever could have. The first car I ever drove was Grandpa’s 1976 Jeep CJ-5. It was long before I was sixteen, and I was sitting on his lap because I couldn’t reach the pedals. I remember I was not quite navigating Salt Creek as well as he did. Most of my most cherished memories of Grandpa occur somewhere far away from civilization. I think I almost love the desert as much as he does, almost. I was very fortunate to get to spend a lot of time alone with Grandpa in far away places. I cherish those times. Now I cannot be in those places, my favorite places, without thinking of being with him.
I have included some pictures, and Grandpa’s obituary. When i was about 1 year old a photo was taken of the four generations of first born Janke boys. When my Erik was about 1 year old we were able to repeat the 4 generations of Janke boys, awesome treasures! I have also included a picture of me with Gramps in Canyonlands when I was around 3.
Leland Eric Janke 1923 ~ 2009 Leland Eric Janke, born May 9, 1923, to Eric Gustave Janke and Lillian Mary Durrant, in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the kitchen table with the doctor and the nurse in attendance. He passed away peacefully and unexpectedly on August 29, 2009, in St. George, Utah.
After living with his grandparents for the first 12 years of his life in Ogden, Utah, he attended Lincoln Jr. High School and graduated from South High School in 1942. Lee attended the University of Utah where he met and married Lois Nielsen (they later divorced) prior to enlisting in the Naval Aviation Program in December of 1942. He was awarded his pilot’s wings in Pensicola, Florida one year later and flew several types of multi-engine aircraft in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters.
Upon his honorary discharge in 1946, Leland went to work for Salt Lake Mill and Lumber Company, where he later became President and CEO until his retirement 50 years later.
Lee married his sweetheart, Patsy Tucker and enjoyed a wonderful companionship filled with foreign travel and fun times together. A special thanks to Pat for her constant devotion and loving care to Lee. They relocated to St. George, Utah, in 2001, where they made many new friendships and enjoyed the sunshine and blue sky.
Lee was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing, hiking and jeeping with family and friends.
Leland is survived by his wife, Pat; children, Lane E. (Janet), Mark L. (Annie), Jill Ostler (Gordon) and Grant all of Salt Lake City; step-children, Dean (Donna) Page and Lynae Page also of Salt Lake City; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
There will be a visitation held on Tuesday, September 1, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George. Friends may call on Wednesday, September 2, 2009, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Memorial Estates Mountain View Mortuary, 3115 E. 7800 S., Cottonwood Heights, UT. Military Honors will follow. At Lee’s request there will be no formal funeral service.