Family, Friends Mourn Teacher Janelle Farvour

Category: Obituaries
Created on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 23:14
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Janelle “Jane” Farvour


“It was with great sadness and loss that on May 13, 2021” her family announced the passing of daughter, sister, friend, teacher, and scores of other roles Janelle “Jane” Farvour (nee Ball) of Sitka, Lakewood, Washington, and Walla Walla, Washington.

Born to Frank and Norma Ball on May Day, 1970, in Longview, Washington, she was the first daughter born in many generations. She attended gifted and vocational coursework through the Walla Walla School District and set her sights on a career as a brain surgeon. “But Dad,” she insisted, “I can save a mind as a skilled surgeon. But as a schoolteacher, I can change a mind.” Janelle turned out to be a gifted educator, and among her many roles nowhere was she in her element more than in a classroom.

In 1995 Janelle traveled to Alaska to complete her student teaching and begin living the Alaskan lifestyle. Janelle embraced Alaska, from fishing in Bristol Bay and enjoying the harvest of king salmon, halibut, sockeye and coho, to coaxing a garden out of the soggy soils of Southeast, she thrived in her chosen hometown of Sitka. She was fearless on land and sea.

Janelle’s love for animals was widely known, and she donated her time and other resources toward their well-being. She devoted her free time to her pug dogs, accommodating their various health needs over the years. She was also a talented aquarist, elevating a variety of freshwater flora and fauna from hobby tanks to habitats of incredible beauty. Janelle’s devotion to the living things in her care was unwavering. Her home was a lush jungle, filled with orchids, nature and other plants forming a living tribute to Janelle’s talents and love for life. Her biome was her sanctuary.

A disco queen and trivia master, Janelle enjoyed deep relationships with a broad cross section of Sitka: from her gym buddies to her teaching colleagues to friends she made in her other pursuits, Janelle touched all with her “angel work.”

Janelle pursued beauty in all things. While working in a downtown shop one recent summer she took great care to develop detailed displays that brought life to the shop. Her immense creativity showed in all that she undertook: Blatchley Middle School colleagues fondly remember the many holiday renditions of her mailbox in the staff room. From Chinese New Year to Valentine’s Day, her decorated mailbox brought delight to all. Janelle’s artwork and impeccable taste were deeply admired by her friends and in her family circle.

Janelle’s greatest sense of achievement derived from the successes of her students and, later, their children. She was immensely proud to have touched the lives of two generations of Sitkans.

In 2018, Janelle was honored during a solstice ceremony by the Kaag’waan’taan Clan and given the nickname Shaxh’aan, meaning redhead. She considered it one of her greatest honors. She participated in the cultural collection of Alaskan Native herring roe, providing the elders with herring on kelp, and cooking roe on hemlock branches. Once again, taking to the sea to make sure the elders were provided their traditional food collected in traditional ways, Janelle was honored to help.

She leaves behind two beloved pug dog companions, her immediate family, consisting of her father Frank, his new wife Loretta, a brother, Chris, his wife Kathe, two nieces, and her beloved sister, Andrea. Numerous friends will also be deeply grieved by her passing – neither they, nor Janelle, were ready to say good-bye.

Janelle urged preventative colonoscopies, as colon cancer has become the second fastest growing cancer in young people.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic of choice, to help provide services for animals in need.