Janet Specht

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
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