Janet Louise Emmerich

July 24, 1930 - September 08, 2022


Obituary For Janet Louise Emmerich

The Funeral Mass for Jan will stream live on YouTube beginning at 11:00 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, 09/14/2022. Please click on the Janet Emmerich Live Stream tab on the left.

MADISON - Janet Louise Emmerich, who lived a full and good life for all of her 92 years, died Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the Attic Angel Community in Middleton. She was born on July 24, 1930, the only daughter of Orren and Lillian (Nelson) Smart. She grew up in the Adams Street neighborhood and developed her ever-present giggle, gift for gab and that special twinkle in her eye while spending countless hours playing with friends at nearby Vilas Park and the zoo. She also played the piano when her father performed marriages as a justice of the peace. Her father started Smart Motors so Jan witnessed the initial growth of the longtime local car dealership and was introduced to some of its notable early customers, including the Crosley-loving Frank Lloyd Wright. Jan graduated from Madison West High School and attended the University of Wisconsin. She always had a love for the water and was a synchronized swimmer at the University of Wisconsin. One of her favorite memories was performing with her group at the Edgewater Hotel while big-band leader Woody Herman and his band called “The Herd” played on the rooftop. She married Paul Emmerich on April 14, 1951, and they spent four-plus decades creating a strong marriage built around loving others as they loved themselves. They worked, played, and prayed hard and relished all their quality time spent with their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many dear friends. They also traveled together to Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and many states. Jan worked as a swimming instructor for the American Red Cross and also had jobs at the Memorial Union Theater, the United States Armed Forces Institute and Edgewood College. She did volunteer work for the Woman’s Organization at St. Thomas Aquinas, the United Givers, Mobile Meals, the Girl Scouts, Pops Concerts, Attic Angel and as a PEO group volunteer. She also volunteered at the Madison General (later Meriter) Hospital Coffee Shop, Oakwood Tea Room, and Glenn Stephens Elementary School. She was a member of Attic Angels, The UW Foundation, the Bascom Hall Society, Bishops Bay Country Club and Nakoma Golf Club. Jan will be remembered for sharing with her family and friends her many loves. First and foremost was her faith in God. She was a charter member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and was a volunteer there for most of her adult life. She adored swimming, tennis, skiing, golfing, boating, riding horses, attending UW football and basketball games, and traveling. Her passion certainly rubbed off on her family. For instance, her sons and many of her grandchildren are avid skiers, thanks to Jan’s guidance. Her daughter and granddaughter have been lifelong equestrians, thanks to Jan’s love of horses. All of her children and grandchildren share Jan’s love of dogs, cats and other furry critters. After Paul died in 2003 and left a gaping hole in Jan’s heart, she responded the following year by starting an annual tradition that kept her family close for the rest of her life. Every June during the Father’s Day weekend, she invited her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to spend three days with her in Green Lake doing most of what Jan truly loved. It always started at Jan’s hotel room where she’d greet her family with her trademark giggle and that twinkle in her eye as she sipped a vodka tonic. Jan is survived by her three sons, John (Andrea) of Madison, Dave (Linda) of Verona, and Mark (Pam) of Madison; a daughter, Pat (Rob) Schultz of Mount Horeb; six grandchildren, Greg, Jackie, Brianna, Lizzy, Madeline, and Mallorie; six great grandchildren McKenna, Max, Wyatt, Weston, Finley, and Piper; and extended family members, Kim (Gary) Vandiver and Tiffany Ripp. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; a son, Michael; and brothers, John, and FJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00AM on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison. A visitation will be held from 10:00AM until time of Mass on Wednesday at the church. Burial at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. The Mass will be able to be viewed via live stream. Jan was a beautiful woman full of elegance and passion who was entrenched in her faith and values. She was an excellent mother, grandmother and great grandmother who created many wonderful memories for her family and friends. She will be deeply missed. Some of her final thoughts were of her family. “I want you to know how proud Paul and I were of all of you,” she wrote in a note. “You have all worked hard and proved yourselves and have also produced some pretty neat grandchildren and great grandchildren for all of us to love. Remember to live a good life, love your families, help others, take good care of your health, and stay happy. I love you all.” The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thanks to the entire staff at Attic Angels Assisted Living, including Judy, Kokoe, Laurie and Cynthia, for their wonderful care of Jan and her family, and Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. Memorials may be made to the Attic Angel Association, Agrace Foundation and Henry Vilas Zoo.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road 608-274-1000

Live Stream


14 Sep


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church 602 Everglade Drive Madison, Wi 53717 Get Directions »
14 Sep

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church 602 Everglade Drive Madison, Wi 53717 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

Live Stream

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


  • 09/17/2022

    Dear Pat and Family, So sorry for the loss of your wonderful Mother. I remember the times with were with her, and what a special person she was. She will be missed indeed. Love, Mary & Ed

  • 09/17/2022

  • 09/12/2022

    I am so sorry to you all. I first met Jan at Nakoma and played golf with her frequently with the 9-hole women. Jan always spoke so lovingly of her departed husband and even more so of her children and grandchildren. Some time passed when we left Nakoma and most recently visited with Jan as an Attic Angel. She perked up when we would talk about golf. And that unforgettable smile lightened up her room. Prayers for you all and may Jan rest in peace.

  • 09/11/2022

    Very sorry for you loss Dave and Linda. Moms are so very special. We hope you cherish all the good good memories. Much Love, Andy & Jean.

Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.

what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

Madison North East

2418 N. Sherman Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
Tel: 608-249-8257

Madison West

5701 Odana Road
Madison, WI 53719
Tel: 608-274-1000


220 S. Enterprise Drive
Verona, WI 53593
Tel: 608-845-6625

DeForest / Windsor

6924 Lake Road
DeForest, WI 53532
Tel: 608-846-4250