Janice Thompson, a longtime teacher at the private Evans School, passed away peacefully at her Pacific Beach home on Saturday, April 5, surrounded by family. She was 87.
When once asked what her dream job would be, Janice responded, “Mother.” According to her three sons and their wives, Janice fulfilled that goal beautifully. Janice was a natural giver, joyfully attending to the needs of everyone around her.
An outstanding teacher, Janice earned her bachelor’s degree and special-needs certification from San Diego State University. She taught for 15 years at The Evans School and tutored many other students on her own time. She cared deeply about her students and stayed in touch with many of them long after they established their own careers.
Janice loved nature. As a Canyoneer with the San Diego Natural History Museum and as a master gardener, she led nature hikes throughout the county. Perhaps some of her love of nature came from her father, who lived above Mission Valley and hiked there in the early 1900s.
Janice served as deacon and elder during her 57-year membership at La Jolla Presbyterian Church. She founded the church’s English as a Second Language program, assisted the homeless and generally lit up the church with her presence. Once, when Janice was a hospital patient, a medical technician stopped to thank her. He had once been homeless, and Janice had helped him write a resume.
Janice leaves behind her husband Frank; sons Don, Bruce and Doug; daughters-in-law Donna and Maryanne; and six grandchildren.