Obituary of Janet Kay Specht
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Janet Kay Pringle Specht, Ph.D., age 79 died October 24, 2022 after her long
journey with cancer.
She is survived by daughter Neva Jean Specht, son-in-law Eric 'Ricky' Burns and
grandson Nelson Joseph S. Burns as well as grandkids and great grandkids
through her daughter's marriage (Donnalee Burns; Tanya Burns; Eric Jr. Burns;
Sheena Burns, Ryan Burns and Kayla Burns) and 7 great grandkids and her
brother, Les Pringle [Chloe].
She was proceeded in death by her husband Hansel Merlin Specht; parents Jean
Moore Pringle and Anna Mae Struthers and a baby brother, Terry Bruce, and
most recently her close friend Harry Crist.
Janet was born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa and grew up in Plover, Iowa, before moving to
southern California with her parents in the 7th grade. She returned to Iowa her
senior year of high school and lived with her grandparents. After graduation from
high school, she moved to Marshalltown, Iowa where she earned a nursing
certificate at the Evangelical School of Nursing. Later she returned to the
University of Iowa to earn her BSN, MSN, and a PhD in Nursing Leadership.
She met her husband, Hansel when she was a nursing student and he was her
patient. After he was released, he asked her out and they were married 6 months
later in September,1964. They were married 28 years.
Janet was always generous with her time, talent, and resources through her
service to others. She served as the Director of Nursing of the Iowa Veterans
Home (1965-1993) and influenced the quality of care for older persons; as a
faculty member at the University of Iowa she taught Nursing Leadership and
served as Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation Center of Geriatric
Nursing Excellence. She, with her colleague Dr. Meridean Maas, founded Liberty
Country Living in North Liberty Iowa, an alternative Alzheimer's care facility.
Always interested in food security, she worked to develop a food pantry through
the Coralville UMC and later worked with the Casting Bread Ministry at
FaithBridge UMC in Blowing Rock.
When she moved to Boone, NC in 2012, she joined the FaithBridge UMC. She
served as co-leader of the Leadership team, church Co-Lay Leader, and the Board
of Casting Bread Ministry. As Director of FaithBridge Outreach Ministry she
had direct involvement in the women's Watauga County jail ministry weekly
visits. In the community she taught part-time in the Appalachian State
University's Sociology Department, was involved with the Watauga Nursing
Home Advocacy group, and the Watauga County Democratic Women's Club.
Those interested in a memorial can make a gift to the Casting Bread Ministry
through Faith Bridge, UMC or to any other food security program you support.
Much thanks go to the all the friends, volunteers, and caregivers that sustained
her care over the many months, as well as the wonderful group of AMOREM
Hospice staff and the nurses and doctors at the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer
Center Watauga Cancer Center.
A celebration of life will be held at FaithBridge United Methodist Church in
Blowing Rock, NC on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Specht family