Janet Elaine Ross Waddill

Janet Elaine Ross Waddill

Jan, as everyone knew her, was born in Lincoln, NE at home to her parents Esther and George Ross on July 25, 1930. George worked for the post office and Esther, an outstanding seamstress, mended clothing and took in laundry to earn extra income. Jan and her only sibling, Phyllis Ross Thomsen, grew up during the hard times of the 1930’s in Lincoln. They were very close sisters.

To earn her four-year college degree in Home Economics, Jan attended UNL where she honed her culintary and seamstress skills. After she graduated,she worked as a county extension agent in the Lincoln area.

While she was at UNL, she met and later married the love of her life, O. Joel Waddill who was studying music and agriculture at UNL. Joel, was a part of the Army Reserves and he was called to go to the Korean war. They pulled their Airstream trailer to Georgia in 1953 to Fort Gordon, where he would complete his MP training. Their oldest daughter, Julie (Waddill) Alcorn was born in Augusta, GA. Just before Joel was to ship out to Korea, the war ended and he was free to return with his new family to the Waddill cattle ranch in the Sandhills northeast of Gordon. 

Jan, brought to her new life as a rancher’s wife, touches of city life and social graces as she easily moved through their many activities on and off the ranch. Jan continued to bless her family and their many friends with her culinary and seamstress expertise. In addition to creating matching outfits for she and the girls, Jan even made Joel long-sleeved western shirts with gripper snaps.

Cindy (Waddill Richardson) Jagr, their youngest daughter, was born in 1959 and grew up on the ranch with Julie. Cindy moved to Denver after high school graduation to begin her career in interior design. She later married and raised her family in Denver as well. Grandpa Joel and Grandma Jan were close enough to be a special part of their lives as they grew. 

Jan would often drive the girls to Sunny Knoll school, the closest rural school which was eight miles from the ranch. At times, she would have to lock in the hubs on the 4-wheel drive pickup

and plow her way through mud or snow to get to school. True grit for a city gal.

Jan moved into Gordon with the girls in 1968 so Julie could go to high school. At that time, Jan began her secretarial work at the Gordon Clinic where she would continue for over 40 years and greet the patients with love and compassion. People called her the huggy lady. She worked for the clinic until she was 80 years old.

In addition to her ranch life, clinic duties, and parenting the girls, Jan and Joel were faithful members of the Gordon Presbyterian church for many decades. They both sang in the choir and held many church offices. Jan was a part of the Presbyterian women’s club, Eastern Star, and women’s and couples bridge clubs in the community.She also played summer golf at the country club and sang in other community small musical groups. She often sang duets or solos with Joel for church and community events. She played and sang the starring female role of Fiona in the summer Gordon community theatre production of Brigadoon. She gained many life-long friends as she fellowshipped with other church members over the years.

Jan continued with her attendance to activities as long as she was able. She remained in her Gordon home for many years until moving into the Gordon Countryside Care facility for her final years of life. Jan went to be with the Lord on December 15, 2022.

Her surviving family will miss her ready smile, her warm well-wishes, and her sharp observations about life. She was full of wisdom for all occasions. She is survived by her daughters and their husbands and grandchildren who are Ross and Julie (Waddill) Alcorn, Heath, Nic and Zac Alcorn and their families; Daniel and Cindy (Waddill Richardson) Jagr; Cyle and Dylon Richardson; Brandon and McKenzie (Richardson) Harrison and their son Gatlin; and Dylon’s girls Jude and Reagan Richardson.

There will be a celebration of life for Jan by her family tentatively on June 9, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the Gordon Presbyterian church. Watch the Gordon Journal for that final announcement in May.

Cards may be sent to McKenzie Harrison, 326 N. Main, Gordon, NE 69343

More in this category: « Robert Tonack Bobby Schott »

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

back to top