MADISON - Jan Eileen Jefferson, age 68, passed away Wednesday, July 17, 2019. She was born January 17, 1951 the fifth daughter of Wayne and Betty Jefferson of Friendship, Wisconsin.
In 1980, she was selected by the Madison Fire Department to be a member of the first training group to include women. She went on to become not only a Firefighter, but also a Paramedic. She retired as a Lieutenant after 25 years with the Department.
Jan was named for her paternal grandmother, Jennie Krejchik Jefferson and her aunt by marriage, Eileen Roberts Jefferson. It was so cold the winter she was born that she was put to bed between her parents in the unheated upstairs of the farmhouse. As a child, she received lavish attention from her older sisters.
She was active in 4-H and Rainbow for Girls. While in high school, Jan was a cheerleader and played 4-H summer league coed softball. Jan was always very athletic, but Title Nine came along too late to allow her to play high school sports. She attended the UW-Madison where she graduated with a degree in child development. She held various jobs after graduation including at the General Motors car assembly plant in Janesville, WI.
After her retirement, she moved to Hawaii and continued to work as a tissue donation coordinator. She developed frontotemporal dementia and in 2014 moved back to the Madison area where she appointed her friend, Denise Sullivan, as her guardian. It has been a very difficult time for her family and friends as her dementia progressed. Jan will be remembered for her career in service to her community, for her generosity, her compassion and as a lot of fun to be around.
Jan is survived by her son, David Sapiro and granddaughters, Allison and Emma; her sisters, Mary, Merna, Marcia, Joyce, Donna and Carla; her brothers, Dean, Bruce and Tom; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents.
The Jefferson family is so very grateful to Jan’s guardians, Denise and Tom, and to her dear friend Leslie who have helped guide and care for her. A special thanks and appreciation to the devoted caregivers, Souda, Enida, Nicole, Chavon, Fathiya, Charise, Arkeia, Deqa, Kenishia, Kisha, Alexis and her hospice nurse Kristen who lovingly kept Jan in her final years. Thanks also to the tireless efforts of Jan’s doctors, Dr. Beth Wiedel and Dr. Philip Lomas.
Private Burial Services will be held on Monday, July 22, 2019 for close friends and family at the NATURAL PATH SANCTUARY, FARLEY CENTER, 2299 Spring Rose Road, Verona. A celebration of life is planned for the Fall and will be announced at a later date. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
220 Enterprise Drive
To send flowers to Jan's family, please visit our floral section.