Women in Focus Tribute

Women in Focus pays its highest tribute to our departed member, Jan Studesville, who died with her husband Al Studesville in a tragic motorcycle accident on June 4, 2013.

Below is the text of a proclamation given at their memorial service at MATC’s Mitby Theater on June 15, 2013. The proclamation was written and delivered by WIF member Gloria Jones-Bey on behalf of Women in Focus.

Jan’s Life in Women in Focus

Eric, Stacy, the Studesville and Barry Families, and friends have gathered here today to celebrate two remarkable lives.

My name is Gloria Jones-Bey and with Jan and others, we were founding members of Women in Focus, an organization of business and professional women that was started 30 years ago. We support education for children and provide scholarships to college for young people of color. For Jan, that was one of her many passions. She was the Chair of our Scholarship Reception Committee for many years, and was slated to be our next President in September.

Jan was a total team player, completely organized and amazingly efficient, compassionate and caring. .

She was an outstanding business woman and she lived a complete life. Jan marched to her own drummer, and her own band and 76 trombones, cool jazz, Muddy Waters, Concerts on the Square, with style and grace, and attitude. She lived with passion and she inhaled life. She was a lady with class who each year, held a party at her beautiful home for our annual meeting. But she knew how to squeeze pennies and often said that the best caterer in town was Sam’s Club. We never left a meeting without hearing about Eric and Stacy or her granddaughter Sidny and recently, pictures of baby Eric. She absolutely convinced us last year that the Broncos were going to win the Super Bowl and we thought that she was really smart to get her tickets early.

She lobbied hard for Women in Focus to establish an Endowment fund at the Madison Community Foundation which we accomplished last year. She then donated- her birthday and special occasion gifts to that fund. Next year and thereafter, Women in Focus will award a Jan and Al Studesville Scholarship in their memory. When the Endowment matures, it will provide a scholarship in perpetuity, long after we are all gone.

Jan was a realist, and she would understand our pain and grief. But she would want us to remember her life of joy and hope. On that note, I’d like to read some words from a poem which captures our feeling for her.

Let us not look for you only in memory;
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence.
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And when music echoes eternal tonesWhen orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring,
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

Dearest Jan, dearest sister, rest in Peace.