Janice Yoshiko Yano Aoki
December 10, 1943 Hunt, Idaho
January 10, 2018
“Two things to aim for in life – to get what you want and enjoy it.”
Kept fortune from a fortune cookie
Janice, our Mother, a Sister, an Aunt, a Grandmother, and a Friend passed away unexpectedly at home on January 10th, 2018 of natural causes.
Born to Mitsuru Yano and Mikiko Sugino Yano on December 10th, 1943 in Hunt, Idaho, Janice was the youngest of three children and the family resided in Salt Lake City, Utah. Feisty and responsible like her mother Miki and creative and athletic like her father Mits, Janice filled her life with adventure and nonstop activity. Married earlier to Robert P. Aoki (Divorced) they took their two young daughters Teresa and Cathy to live in Anchorage, Alaska. While there, Janice grew from a carefree young woman into a full-time mother and wage earner, learning to cook and sew and waterski along the way! After her divorce, Janice returned to Salt Lake City with her two girls and began her career at Mountain Bell/US West/Qwest where she eventually took an early retirement after rising through the ranks to a Telecommunication Manager in the Feeder Analysis Plan Network Facilities. Those middle years in Salt Lake City is where Janice honed her skills in softball, tennis, and downhill skiing. She braved the tumultuous teenage years of her daughters and taught them independence and supported them in their endeavors. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Westminster College.
She became a grandmother of five (Sergio, Marshall, Zane, Jessie, and Jaymi) and a great-grandmother of seven (Hannah, Bianca, Yoshi, Karma, Bailee, Brody, and Payton) and devoted many hours with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending their sports activities, vacation trips, and family get-togethers.
She was on many tennis league teams, played in many tennis tournaments including the Huntsman Senior Games annually, and traveled to many professional tennis tournaments as a spectator, notably the U.S. Tennis Open and Wimbledon. To say that tennis was her thing would be an understatement.
Janice moved to Denver, Colorado for her job and retired there when she was 55 years old. In her retirement, she worked part-time at Littleton Golf and Tennis, volunteered at the Food Bank, did a stint as an elementary school substitute teacher, and did freelance mural paintings on the side. Her Denver days were filled with tennis, golfing, pickleball, fun activities and dining with friends. She visited Salt Lake City regularly and there are many memories of tennis played with her daughters, nephews, and grandchildren. Janice was a competitive player, who could get quickly to the ball on the court even at age 74 and her tennis arsenal included a low, angled, fast serve, topspin, and a wickedly annoying drop shot. She hated it when people lobbed the ball. There were many Sunday mornings of golf in Salt Lake City with the family where candy bars were the bet with her grandsons Sergio and Marshall and even in miniature golf bets were made with her grandson Zane, a dollar for a hole-in-one and who would win the game. Pickleball was Janice’s latest sports passion which she introduced to the family and played with the same competitive edge.
Janice was a world traveler with trips to Mexico, Europe, China, Australia, Costa Rica, and India. She had a lifelong passion for sweets and pastries; Janice never met a bakery she didn’t like! Her pockets and purse always contained candy and she was truly blessed with her son-in-law, Rich who is an excellent baker and candy maker. Fine jewelry was another passion and she was always wearing many of her pieces even while playing tennis.
Mom, with your love, your passion for life and going for it, your sense of responsibility and civic duty, and especially in your later years, the more evident playfulness and humor buried under years of hard work and long hours, your family is thriving and it all began with you … precariously at first but with each new year with added strength and purpose in hard conditions until we could count many more sunny, good tennis days than cloudy or storm. The two things you aimed for in life, to get what you want and to enjoy it was taken off your bucket list too early.
Janice is survived by her daughters, Teresa Aoki (Tom) and Cathy (Rich) Hampton, her grandchildren, Sergio Herrera (Kortney), Marshall White (Tiffany), Zane Wilson/Miranda, Jessie (Ray) Martin and Jaymi Hampton, her great grandchildren, her two sisters, Irene (Art) Kato and Lillian (Carl) Clark, and her nephews and niece, Bruce (Michelle) Kato, Steve (Lisa) Kato, Kerri (Jason) Halsey, Robert (Roxanne) Clark, Ric (Meda) Clark, and Mike (Jennifer) Clark.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local Youth Tennis Program or the Food Bank. A celebration of Janice’s life will be announced soon.