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Janet Carolyn Ward


Janet Carolyn Ward, of Sun City West, Arizona, passed away on November 21, 2021.

Janet was born on October 2, 1932 in Cody, Wyoming to John and Opal Creel, just 35 minutes before her twin sister, Joyce.

Janet’s father was in the oil business, so they moved often until settling in Bakersfield, California, where at age 10, she found a love for tennis. She played for over 60 years; including on both her high school and junior college teams. She graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education.

In 1959, Janet, and her twin sister, drove up the Alaska Highway because “Alaska has just been given statehood.” They arrived in Fairbanks and began teaching at Main School. In 1960, she met Charles “Chuck” Ward. They married the next year and settled in Juneau, where Janet continued her teaching career. They welcomed their only child, Charles “Chilkoot” Ward, in 1964. Janet and Chuck divorced in 1977, but she remained in Juneau until 1996 when she moved to Sun City West, Arizona.

Janet was a devoted (or loving) mother and grandmother. She was a world traveler, having visited 27 different countries. She enjoyed playing bridge and attending church. She taught elementary school grades for 35 years in California, Wyoming, and Alaska, until her retirement in 1987. After her retirement, she attained a Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, where she taught for an additional four years. While in Alaska, Janet served on numerous state and local committees for education and cancer-support. After moving to Sun City West, Janet volunteered for Habitat for Humanity’s “Women Build” program and in the “Rise to Read” program in the Dysart Unified School District.

Janet was predeceased by her parents, her twin sister, Joyce Jones, and former spouse, Chuck Ward.

She is survived by her son and his wife, Chilkoot and Michelle Ward, of Fairbanks, Alaska. She has four grandchildren; Allison Ward of Milwaukee, Zachery Ward of Anchorage, and Neysa and Makenzie Ward of Fairbanks. Janet is also survived by her sole living sibling, Susan Rothstein and her husband, Joseph, of Brookline, Massachusetts; along with six nieces and nephews, and seven grand-nieces and nephews.

Janet will be remembered fondly by her family, friends, and her fellow tennis and bridge players of Sun City West. She will be interred at the Advent Episcopal Church at 13150 Spanish Garden Drive, Sun City West, Arizona on January 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM.