Janet Elizabeth (Nelson) Brothers Janet Elizabeth (Nelson) Brothers transitioned peacefully from this life to the next on May 10, 2020, following a recent diagnosis of lymphoma. This remarkable woman was born on July 31, 1946, in Whittier, California, to Howard Nelson and Helen Thomas Nelson, one hour after her twin sister, Kathie. She attended school in Manhattan, Kansas and showed remarkable musical talent on the clarinet and recorder. When the family moved to Fresno, California, she continued study at Fresno High School, and in her senior year was first chair in the California All State Band.
She was a music major at Fresno State College, where she met her husband, Les Brothers. After his graduation in 1967 they married and moved to Los Angeles, where he completed the Ph.D. degree at the University of California Los Angeles and she was head of circulation in the UCLA Music Library. With the birth of her son, Glenn, in 1970 she was occupied with child care and ultimately typed Les's dissertation. In 1973 she was a homemaker for one year in Long Beach, California, before moving to Denton, Texas, where she was initially Administrative Assistant to the Registrar of the American Musicological Society, moving on to the Office of the Graduate School at the University of North Texas. During this time her daughter, Erin was born. Then she took a position in the College of Business Computer Center, where she distinguished herself in mastering emerging computer technology as Computer Support Specialist. Ultimately she was given the highest level of Computer Support Specialist created exclusively for her. She administered two computer labs and instructed the faculty in new computer technology.
As her son graduated from medical school, and her daughter pursued a master's degree in Occupational Therapy, Jan decided that she wanted to complete a bachelor's degree she had abandoned years before. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts and Sciences (2002) then focused her passion for caring on a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling (2004), both from the University of North Texas. With a move to Warrensburg, Missouri, in 2005, she maintained her certification in Rehabilitation Counseling, was a Master Trainer for the Chronic Disease Self-Management and Diabetes Self-Management Programs through Stanford University, and devoted more than a decade voluntarily assisting senior citizens. Moreover, she had been a Certified Laughter Leader since 2008, offering numerous classes in laughter therapy.
Since coming to Tulsa in 2015, Jan took great delight in caring for her two Tulsa grandchildren as needed. She also enjoyed keeping up with her two out-of-state grandchildren especially with dance and sports. Family was always a priority. Nevertheless she enjoyed participating in numerous music and service programs of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. She sang in the Chancel Choir, rang in the top bell choir, attended the Living the Questions Sunday School Class, and participated in a mission trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for flood relief. She also valued relationships with her P.E.O. sisters and was slated to take over as president of her chapter soon.
But most resonant with Jan's desire to serve others was her activity with Congregational Care Ministry. She was ready to give a presentation on a Walk to Emmaus weekend halted by the Corona Virus spread. Her death also cut short her long standing effort to qualify her pet as a therapy dog for hospital visitation. Even during the 26 days she spent in the hospital before her death without family or friends, she developed a community with her doctors, nurses, and chaplains with her cheerful greetings and positive spirit even as her physical condition was rapidly deteriorating. She was truly a remarkable woman.
Jan was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her husband of 52 years, Les; son, Glenn Brothers and grandchildren, Maddie and Will Brothers (Greenville, South Carolina); and daughter, Erin Kizzar and husband, Lee and grandchildren, Landon and Brody Kizzar (Tulsa, Oklahoma). Surviving siblings include Sheila Nelson (Corvallis, Oregon), David Nelson and wife, Patricia (Bellingham, Washington), and twin, Kathie Nelson (Carmichael, California). She will be inurned in the columbarium at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and a celebration of life service will be scheduled pending re-opening of the church to public services.