Janet I. Slauson (Cunningham) passed away peacefully in her sleep in Citrus Heights, California, on March 13, at the age of 86, one week after the passing of her husband of nearly 67 years, Theodore. Janet was born at home in Verona, Wisconsin, on March 31, 1934, to Alton James and Hazel Margaret Cunningham. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Fitchburg, and Janet spent her formative years on the family farm.
In 1954, she married her sweetheart, Theodore Slauson, who had joined the Air Force two years prior. Together they raised six children. Because of Ted’s military commitment, Janet learned early on what it meant to be “a military wife” and she was instrumental in managing every aspect of home life for their young children while Ted was at work including assignments away from home for weeks or months at a time. This meant that many times she had to be both mom and dad. They experienced multiple moves during their twenty years of service (somewhere around 15), and Janet became an expert in packing on short notice and maximizing luggage space. She was a wonderful seamstress and cook, with an exceptional ability to create meals for the family with whatever was in the cupboards or refrigerator. As the family expanded with spouses and grandchildren, Janet had no qualms about cooking for upwards of 20 people. She loved family gatherings and cherished her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Anyone who met Janet, soon learned that teddy bears and bingo were her primary passions. She collected teddy bears for the obvious reason and had a massive collection that she happily shared with her grandchildren. She and Ted began playing bingo during their first years together in Alaska. Janet was an active player in Sacramento bingo halls for nearly 40 years, and her playing funded local school programs and charities. When not in the bingo hall, Janet volunteered with Ted with Sacramento Senior Nutrition Services (Serve Our Seniors) where they delivered meals to homebound seniors for nearly 20 years. She also donated time and funds to charities supporting medical research, at-risk children, abused animals and environmental issues.
Janet is survived by her daughter, Marilyn (Stephan), sons Gary (Jill), Robert (Sandra), Daniel (Joseph), Ted (Carlos), and her daughter-in-law, Janet. She was a proud grandmother to Matthew (Christian), Alex (Shawn), Lizzie, Andrew (Lindsey), Leslie, Nicholas, Valerie (John), Eli (Jamie), Molly, Cloey (Travis), and Henry. She was Great Grandmother to Connor, Noah, Hunter, Owen, Sidney, Logan and Pemberley. Janet is also survived by her sister-in-law, Nancy, brother-in-law, Jim, numerous nieces and nephews and extended families. Janet was predeceased by her brother, three sisters, her daughter, Linda, son-in-law, Tad, daughter-in-law, Amy, and grandchild, Joshua.
A service is scheduled to be held at Roselawn Memorial Park in Monona, Wisconsin, on April 7, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. A celebration of life will be held in Arbuckle, California, on May 8, 2021, their 67th wedding anniversary (email firstname.lastname@example.org for details). In lieu of flowers, donations in Janet’s memory may be made to the San Juan High School Booster Club, Sacramento area Serve Our Seniors, Fair Oaks Theatre Festival, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.
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