Remembering Janet Seeley, 1947-2019

As noted in the WSB Forums, the West Seattle community has lost a longtime member who was also a longtime participant in WSB’s online community. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

She has had so many close calls, it is almost shocking to announce that our friend and neighbor Janet Elizabeth Frantz Seeley (known as JanS in comments and the forum), passed away on November 13, 2019.

Born in Danville, Virginia in 1947 to Dean and Anne Frantz, her family soon moved to Reading, PA where she grew up. As a young woman, she joined the Women’s Army Corps and served from 1973-1975. She left the Corps to start family life in West Seattle in 1976. She was free-spirited and incredibly hip – a fierce feminist who spoke her mind.

Jan became a mother to Jess Pearson (Seeley) in 1980 and from then on out, her daughter was her life. She shared her values of authenticity, respect, and independence.

Jan and Jess maintained a close relationship. Despite health challenges, she was a doting mother and loving grandmother to her grandson Ollie.

While she would have loved to be a full-time mom, relationship changes required her to find a way to support herself and her daughter. She started a massage practice in 1994. Her time working in the Army’s photo lab set her up to be an early adopter of technology. When she started her massage business she set up a website to advertise right away. She maintained her massage business until 2017.

She had a great sense of humor, loved poetry and delighted in beauty. She was a person of quick-wit, keen observations, and directness. Jan’s unique ability to maintain a non-judgmental attitude, show compassion, and relate to others was a gift to her family and friends. Those in power did not receive such grace – she shared strong opinions about injustice and corruption with passion.

Jan held dearly to life despite the many challenges life threw at her. Jan fought and survived serious health problems for the last 25 years – full of spirit and hope. It is with sadness we say goodbye and hope that her strong spirit can rest in peace and comfort.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Carole Jones (Frantz). She is survived by her daughter Jess and grandson Ollie, and nieces and nephews Joshua, Thomas, Robin, and Alana.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, which would have been her 73rd birthday. Further details to follow closer to the day. Please email her daughter Jess at to be added to the list of invitees.


If you hanker for
a zenith of felicity
on the bed of the Divine
begin by dusting off
the wings of wonder
on your local pillow
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane
Aim for airborne
with the eye of the heart
as your sky pilot
and soar to glory
~ James Broughton ~

(Little Sermons of the Big Joy)

15 Replies to "Remembering Janet Seeley, 1947-2019"

  • Anw December 1, 2019 (8:49 pm)

    So sad to hear. JanS was a special part of our community, with wonderful insight and heart. We’ll miss her presence. Wishing peace for her family and friends. 

  • Curate December 1, 2019 (10:13 pm)

    I am so sorry. We no longer live in West Seattle but still read the blog regularly. I will always remember Jan’s good sense and the way she treated everyone with respect. She was never judgmental, even when adamantly disagreeing with a commenter. I never knew her IRL but it was clear she had many, many health challenges. And yet she had a remarkably good attitude. Again, I am really sorry to hear of her passing.

  • Barb vadakin December 1, 2019 (10:28 pm)

    I remember Jan as a special parent who volunteered at Madison while her daughter was there. She gave her all on any project she volunteered for. Very special lady.

  • DBurns December 1, 2019 (11:14 pm)

    Jan S was a big part of my early time as a faithful WSB reader. She was always engaging and had such a strong voice! I am sad to hear of her passing and hope her loved ones find joy in their memories of her. She will be missed. 

  • Railroaded December 2, 2019 (4:07 am)

    I am sorry to hear that Jan passed away. She had a compassionate heart for sure.

  • Beth December 2, 2019 (4:23 am)

    I’m so sad to hear this news. I always looked for JanS’ comments, especially on controversial topics; she was the logical and oftentimes the “only adult in the room”. Prayers and virtual hugs to her daughter.

  • DaPuffin December 2, 2019 (9:05 am)

    Jan and I were good friends, and sadly, only had about four years to spend enjoying each other’s friendship.  I started most mornings chatting with her online, as well as many an evening. and miss our time together deeply.  Her humor, wisdom and yes, clever snarkiness made my world a better place.  My life is much richer for the time we spent appreciating one another.  

  • SeaVieu December 2, 2019 (9:11 am)

    What a beautiful tribute. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Colleen M December 2, 2019 (9:33 am)

    So sad to hear the news of Jan’s passing. We went to massage school together and often did exchanges of massage throughout our careers. She was a gifted massage therapist and as we all know, one not to shy away from letting her opinion be known.RIP Jan. 

  • Nita Burlew December 2, 2019 (9:36 am)

    So sad to hear about Janet. MIWS spoke highly of her, and their interactions shared with me were always appreciated and gave me food for thought. I’m sorry I never got to meet Janet in person. May God comfort you in this tender time. 

  • sam-c December 2, 2019 (10:02 am)

    So sorry to hear of Jan’s passing; she was such a good soul.  I met her a couple times ‘IRL’, and she was just as lovely in person.  While online ‘debate’ often seems ridiculous, JanS’ respectful reasoning and steadfast commitment to good values (by way of her comments) was always a welcome sight for me on the West Seattle Blog.  I always think of JanS as I make my way up Admiral Way at 30 mph, getting tail-gated and passed the whole way  :)   Peace to Jan’s family in this time of loss.  She will be missed by many.

  • Pat Jernigan December 2, 2019 (1:47 pm)

    This is a beautifully written article! I wish I’d known Jan…As an Army veteran I salute Jan and thank her for her service. Rest in peace…

  • Victoria van Fleet December 2, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    Way back in around 1978 or 9, I was tasked with interviewing and hiring someone for the travel agency I worked in (remember them?) There was no question when I met Jan I had to work with her!  We had good fun through the years, and some sad times. I will miss her chuckle, her critical conversation, her fb posts – well, just her, really.   Such a big personality! 

  • Laurie Streck December 2, 2019 (7:01 pm)

    Yes, I was very sorry to learn of Jan’s passing. I know she did deal with many physical hardships but always was optimistic…..We go way back, in fact, I was her maid of honor when she got married. Jess and my Sarah had many play dates and of course, so did Jan & I, as we visited while our girls played together. I am so very sorry, Jess, for your great loss. She was an excellent mother to you and I am so very happy that you shared such a close, loving and fun relationship. Thinking of You……Love, Laurie Tunison Streck

  • Ladawn Hollick December 13, 2019 (11:31 am)

    Jan was my massage therapist and friend  for many years when I lived in West Seattle and her amazing spirit lifted me up on numerous occasions.  Jan was included in my circle of West Seattle friends who helped to assist her with her special needs.   She is truly missed and I am so grateful we were able to chat in late October.  

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