Janet Lynne McElroy, 49, of Hayden, peacefully left this world July 13, 2009, at Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs.
She was surrounded by family and friends. Janet was born and raised in Denver by her parents, Richard Olin Bruce and Wilma Faye Bruce.
Janet attended Manual High School then attended community college. Janet married in 1978, gave birth to Nathaniel (Nathan) Douglas in 1979 and Nicholle Douglas in 1980. Janet divorced in 1982, remarried in 1983 and was blessed with her third child, Lucas McElroy, in 1985. Janet separated in 1989 and continued to raise her three children on her own. Janet never remarried.
Janet developed a special bond with animals at a young age that sustained her family through her work at the Jefferson County Animal Shelter, Animal Rescue and Adoption Society, and Plaza Veterinary Clinic, where she worked as a veterinary technician until her move to Hayden in 1993.
Her move to the Yampa Valley rekindled her love for the outdoors, and she regularly spent free time with her friends and family. In the summer, she spent time gardening, camping, hiking, fishing and enjoying nature. In the winter, she took time to read, crochet, bake and craft. She always made time to reflect on her days in front of sunsets. Her work in the Yampa Valley carried from customer service to managing the bakery at the local grocery store.
Janet is survived by her oldest son, Nathan Douglas and his wife, Kelly Douglas, as well as their three children, Zachariah, Skyler and Jeremiah; her daughter, Nicholle Douglas (Spafford), and her husband, Dirk Spafford; her youngest son, Lucas McElroy, and his fiancee, Kelli Schoen; sister Sharon Campbell and her husband, Mike Campbell, and son Paul Rees; sister Susan Sotack and her husband, Dean Sotack; niece Lindsay Hahl and her husband, Travis Hahl; and nephew Jeff Sotack.
A celebration of life is at 2 p.m. today at the Hayden Town Park with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Grant Mortuary in her name, the Routt County Humane Society or the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.