Cover photo for Janet Eustace's Obituary
Janet Eustace Profile Photo

Janet Eustace

December 16, 1921 — September 1, 2017

Helen Janet Eustace (Janet), 95, died peacefully on September 1, 2017. The family will hold a private service in October; Janet's online memorial is at She was preceded in death by her youngest son, Alan, in 1973, and her husband, Doug, in 2008. She is survived by her children Jeff Eustace, Christy Smith, and Kim Hathaway; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Janet was born in Kennewick, WA on December 16, 1921 to Lisle and Helena Smith. She lived in several towns in Washington with her parents and sisters, Sharlee and Sibyl. In 1939, Janet graduated from Wenatchee High School. The family moved to La Grande, OR soon after.

Janet attended Eastern Washington State University, where she was engaged to Douglas Eustace. Doug graduated in 1942, joined the army, and was stationed in Tampa, FL. After Janet completed her own BA, and upon receiving a telegram, "Is Florida too far?" she took a train to Florida and married Doug on July 21, 1943.

During Doug's overseas duty, Janet returned to La Grande and worked for Dr. Gilstrap, a physician in the same clinic where Doug eventually established his dental practice. Doug returned in 1946, and they moved to Portland, OR for Doug to attend dental school. There, Janet's two of her four children, Jeffrey and Christine, were born. In 1950, they relocated--for a dental internship--to Fort Lewis, WA, where Janet had her two more children, Kimberly and Alan. In 1953, the family returned to La Grande. Doug started his practice; Janet raised four children and later became her husband's office manager.

Janet is remembered by her family and friends as a person with a sharp mind, a curious soul who was a extraordinary caregiver. She was generous with her attention and her affection, and made everyone she spoke to feel important. She enjoyed any opportunity to learn and had particular love for nature, birdwatching, tennis, and language. Janet's wide-ranging interests made her an expert crossword puzzler, a formidable computer-user, and a sensitive thinker and writer. She was always jotting down questions for future conversations and adding quotations to her folder of "Bon Mots." In that folder were words that comforted in times of grief, inspired in times of need, simplified the complicated, and turned tears to laughter. That folder included: "Remembering you is easy, we do it every day. Missing you is the heartache that never goes away."

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Planned Parenthood or Special Olympics.


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