“Hang onto your blade of grass” she would say in a note, or e-mail, “I love you best!” recalls Dawn Shepherd, who worked with Jan Andrus when …
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“Hang onto your blade of grass” she would say in a note, or
e-mail, “I love you best!” recalls Dawn Shepherd, who worked with
Jan Andrus when she headed Littleton’s Housing Authority and is now
in the same capacity in Englewood.
“She was a wild, wacky, wonderful woman,” Shepherd said.
Everyone remembers a story about Jan Andrus, it seems, as the
community bids farewell to a beloved woman who was passionate about
her 20-year stint as executive director of Town of Littleton Cares,
Meals on Wheels and could be counted on for witty commentary on
just about any topic.
She touched hundreds of lives — people who received hot meals
five days a week (with little gifts on 12 days before Christmas),
volunteers who delivered those meals over the years and were
sometimes the only contact with the outside world and many
connections throughout her communities in the south metro area.
Andrus, who died at home on Feb. 20, was celebrated at a Feb. 26
memorial service at Littleton United Methodist Church.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1935, she attended nursing school
for a time, married Bruce Andrus and moved to Colorado about 50
years ago. Her daughter Marilyn Clothier, who lives in Texas,
remembers moving to Littleton about 40 years ago with her parents,
brother Jeff and sister Ann Marie. Bruce died three years ago.
Clothier has heard many stories this week about her mom from her
local fans and the family truly appreciates the support, she
Jan Andrus started work in 1982 as director for Town of
Littleton Cares Inc., which operates Meals on Wheels as a nonprofit
without federal support. She built the organization, started by
Virginia Baker in 1965, to serving more than 220 meals a day in
western Arapahoe and southeastern Jefferson counties, five days a
week. Birthdays of recipients were noted. A corps of more than 200
volunteers was mobilized to accomplish regular delivery and she
remembered them with notes and greeting cards.
She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and two
great-grandchildren. Stories surfaced about her support of Marine
grandson Garret Clothier, who is winding up a second deployment in
Iraq. Her doorbell rings the Marine Corps song and in addition to
care packages she sent, there were as many as 18 boxes from members
of her Red Hat Society group. Other grandchildren are Marilyn’s
Spencer (Cassie), Bryce and Addison; Ann Marie’s Robert (Lisa);
Jeff’s Nicole and Jeffrey Ernest.
The family suggested in lieu of flowers donations to TLC Meals
on Wheels, P.O. Box 1176, Littleton, CO, 80160.
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