Donald L. Jans passed away peacefully in Spokane on April 10, 2019.
The Rosary will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in Spokane on April 26, 2019 at 5 p.m. with funeral services on April 27, 2019 starting at 11 a.m..
Don was born on April 29, 1934 in Spokane, the son of Henry and Cecelia Jans of Sprague, Washington. Don was a boarder in DeSmet Hall while attending Gonzaga Preparatory, graduating in 1952. He continued his studies at Gonzaga University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1956. Afterwards he received his Certificate in Business Management from the University of Utah, and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1979.
Don started his long career with Westinghouse and later Asea Brown Boveri. His work took him and his family far and wide, starting in Buffalo NY, then Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Athens, GA, Jefferson City, MO, Pittsburgh PA and finally Coral Springs FL where he retired after leading that division to be one of the top performing units in North America and the world.
A recipient of the Gonzaga Distinguished Alumni Merit Award in 2009, Don’s upbringing coupled with Gonzaga’s mission to educate the whole person created a compassionate, caring and wise individual. “Growing up around farmers gave me a sense of ethics and fair play.” Don said at the award ceremony.
In addition to his business career, Don was also a member of Gonzaga’s Board of Regents, the Gonzaga Engineering Advisory Council, SCORE (small business consulting), a Director at Hope 4 Kids International, and a senior member of the IEEE.
A life-long lover of music, Don was an accomplished trumpet player, starting as a member of the local Spokane band, the Stardusters who played throughout the Spokane area in the 50’s including Gonzaga frequently.
Don was married to Joan Farrell Jans in 1962 in Spokane. Together they raised three children Alicia, Susan and Donald. In 1992 he married Marilyn Crockett. Their travels took them back west to Reno, NV where he remained active in the Reno Philharmonic before moving back to Spokane 10 years ago.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn, his three children; Alicia Haley and Susan Jans (Paul McDonald) both of San Francisco, his son Donald of Portland OR and five grandchildren, Megan, Alec and Matson Haley, and Shealand and Beau Jans, as well as two sisters; Marilyn Before and Kay Walker both of Spokane and numerous nieces and nephews which he always held dear to his heart.
Don was a passionate patriot and a man of the highest integrity who loved his family dearly. We miss him. In lieu of flowers the family asks you please consider a donation to Hope 4 Kids, the Gonzaga University Engineering School or any charity of your choice.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Hennessey Funeral Home, Spokane, WA.
Hope 4 Kids International
PO BOX 74010, Phoenix AZ 85087
Gonzaga University: School of Engineering & Applied Science
502 East Boone Avenue, Spokane WA 99258-0102