Janet Anderson Lightner

March 2, 1939 - April 26, 2021

Obituary

Born March 2, 1939, died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital on April 26, 2021. She is survived by her son, Rob (Jessie Brown) and daughter, Jill (Tom Marshall).  

Jan Lightner majored in Speech Pathology and Counseling Psychology at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she received her BSc in 1961 and MA in 1963. She worked as a soda jerk, a lifeguard, and a jazz drummer before college graduation, and saved up from her first post-college job as a speech therapist to spend six weeks in Europe and then attend grad school. She fought for pay equity, worked to prevent violence against women and kids in the rural south, and defended free speech in King County libraries in the face of death threats. Beginning in 1958, she was highly active in her sorority Alpha Xi Delta, ultimately serving a term as National Membership Vice President and helping establish several chapters across the country in the 1970s and 1980s. 

At Jan’s request, there will not be a service. The family encourages anyone who would like to make a donation to send it to the Jan and Gene Lightner Scholarship Fund, University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.

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Sandra and Larry Darby
Sandra and Larry Darby
10 days ago

Fellow-Nebraskans and work-out friends at Federal Way Community Center. We will miss her humor,conversation and love of all things Nebraska

Julie and Dennis Sustala
Julie and Dennis Sustala
10 days ago

I will miss our conversations and laughter. This was very unexpected. She will be missed greatly.

Bill Reece
Bill Reece
9 days ago

Jan and Gene were such great friends and supporters of the University. Truly class people who clearly put others before themselves. I will miss having wonderful conversations with them at Salty’s, just down the road from their home. Godspeed Jan Lightner!

Barbara Brennan Wu
Barbara Brennan Wu
8 days ago

I am so very sorry to hear of Jan’s passing. If first met her in the late ’70’s when she was such an active volunteer at Nu Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. She was a wonderful role model for all of young women just starting out in life. I can still hear her laugh. We will always remember her.

Rebecca Kerlin
Rebecca Kerlin
7 days ago

Jan was a wonderful great-aunt who brought a lot of light into our lives growing up. I will always remember her with love.