Janet (Rye) Fleetwood ’67

28 August 2007

Class: 1967

Major: English

Deceased: August 20, 2007

Janet Fleetwood, 62, formerly of Billings, died Aug. 20, 2007, at her home in LaGrange. She had been battling cancer for the past three years. Janet died as she had lived, quietly, with a minimum of inconvenience to other people and with her personal affairs and effects very well organized. Janet was born in Portsmouth, VA., Nov. 24, 1944. She was the second of three children of Glenn and Shirley Rye. After her father’s service with the U.S. Navy during World War II, the family lived in Waterloo, Northwood and Des Moines, Iowa, prior to moving to Billings in 1952. Always a stellar student, Janet attended Highland Elementary, Lewis and Clark Junior High, and Billings Senior High. After the family’s relocation to Duluth, Minn., following her junior year of high school, Janet graduated from Duluth East High School in 1963. She then went to Carleton College, graduating with a BA degree in English in 1967, and to Indiana University, where she received her MA and Ph.D. degrees. It was at Indiana where she met fellow graduate student Gerald Fleetwood. They were married in Duluth in 1971. Their early married life included visits combining pleasure with academic pursuits to England and India. Janet taught at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., but she spent most of her working life as an editor for publishing companies in Chicago. She was the co-author of a widely used high school English textbook. She was preceded in death by her parents. Janet’s survivors include her husband, Gerald Fleetwood of LaGrange; their daughter, Margaret Rose Fleetwood, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania; her brother, David Rye (wife Gay), of Billings; her sister, Cynthia Snyder (husband Stephen), of Minneapolis; three nephews and five cousins.

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Mom was an exceptional person, especially when we consider the combination of traits she exhibited.  Most people with her gift for articulation do not share her tendency towards modest understatement.  Few can combine her remarkable level-headedness and strong work ethic with a passion for adventure and fun (whether sophisticated or simple in nature).  Rarest and most precious of all was her consistently collected demeanor next to her emotional acuity and propensity for deep sympathy.  We all delighted in her striking intelligence and warm company; we were sustained by her limitless strength and her unselfish nature. 

We appreciate your kid words and support during this difficult time.  We are so grateful to those who stepped forward to help us honor the woman we love so much. 

Gerald and Margaret Fleetwood

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Janet Rye Fleetwood died in August, 2007. I am sorry not to have included my brief thoughts on her passing until now. Janet was a very special person, very intelligent and hard working but also very quiet but really enjoyed having fun. Our sophomore year we lived on 3rd Gridley South (which sort of became our fun “sorority”). There were maybe 10 to 12? of us; Third Gridley South represented the rooms around the Grand Staircase (two floors above the Parlor on the first floor). We had specially ordered matching sweatshirts in light green that equated Third Gridley South with sugar and spice, I believe the organic chemical formula for sugar was on the back. In Third Gridley South parlance several had “Loo” added to their names like Janet-loo or Linda-loo, but I don’t think “Pretzel-loo” ever caught on. Living in Gridley presented other ways to bond in 1964-65: waiting outside Gridley’s dining room (the other choice was Evans and after all we lived in Gridley) until the head waiter escorted in our house-mother Mrs. Morter on her arm and the five or six “volunteers” who joined her table for conversation and a civilized eating experience (the rumor was Sunday dinner at Burton could be consumed in 15? minutes); the monthly fire drills (usually occurring about the 29th or 30th so hardly a surprise); and early morning studying in “the Smoker” on 3rd Gridley South with the windows flung wide open–even in winter–to “air” the room out (the Smoker being rather a contradiction to those fire drills). When I would study calculus for a test later that morning I would always hear the Northfield train whistles. I am sorry Janet will not be at our 50th Reunion, but the survivors of Third Gridley South will remember her with love.

Anne Jansen Aby ’67

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Janet, Linda Rasmussen and I shared a Nourse triple freshman year. When I just re-read Janet’s obituary above, the third sentence struck me as a perfect description of Janet at Carleton – she was quiet and considerate, serious but with a sense of humor (I kept the stuffed Piglet she gave me for many years), organized but not compulsively so. Anne Aby’s comments above capture our sophomore year on 3rd Gridley.

As part of the Outreach (aka Noise) committee for our 2007 reunion, I called Janet to encourage her to attend only to hear that she was seriously ill. I echo Anne’s last sentence, sadly now including Anne as one we remember with love.

Janet’s family was kind enough to send me a copy of the program from her memorial service – the source of the message from her husband and daughter above.

Chris Leininger Furlanetto ’67

 

 

 

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Comments

  • 2016-08-27 20:54:53
    Anne Jansen Aby

    Janet Rye Fleetwood died in August, 2007. I am sorry not to have included my brief thoughts on her passing until now. Janet was a very special person, very intelligent and hard working but also very quiet but really enjoyed having fun. Our sophomore year we lived on 3rd Gridley South (which sort of became our fun "sorority"). There were maybe 10 to 12? of us; Third Gridley South represented the rooms around the Grand Staircase (two floors above the Parlor on the first floor). We had specially ordered matching sweatshirts in light green that equated Third Gridley South with sugar and spice, I believe the organic chemical formula for sugar was on the back. In Third Gridley South parlance several had "Loo" added to their names like Janet-loo or Linda-loo, but I don't think "Pretzel-loo" ever caught on. Living in Gridley presented other ways to bond in 1964-65: waiting outside Gridley's dining room (the other choice was Evans and after all we lived in Gridley) until the head waiter escorted in our house-mother Mrs. Morter on her arm and the five or six "volunteers" who joined her table for conversation and a civilized eating experience (the rumor was Sunday dinner at Burton could be consumed in 15? minutes); the monthly fire drills (usually occurring about the 29th or 30th so hardly a surprise) ; and early morning studying in "the Smoker" on 3rd Gridley South with the windows flung wide open --even in winter--to "air" the room out (the Smoker being rather a contradiction to those fire drills). When I would study calculus for a test later that morning I would always hear the Northfield train whistles. I am sorry Janet will not be at our 50th Reunion, but the survivors of Third Gridley South will remember her with love.

  • 2016-11-30 11:25:11
    Chris Leininger Furlanetto '67

    Janet, Linda Rasmussen and I shared a Nourse triple freshman year. When I just re-read Janet's obituary above, the third sentence struck me as a perfect description of Janet at Carleton - she was quiet and considerate, serious but with a sense of humor (I kept the stuffed Piglet she gave me for many years), organized but not compulsively so. Anne Aby's comments above capture our sophomore year on 3rd Gridley.

    As part of the Outreach (aka Noise) committee for our 2007 reunion, I called Janet to encourage her to attend only to hear that she was seriously ill. I echo Anne's last sentence, sadly now including Anne as one we remember with love.

    Janet's family was kind enough to send me a copy of the program from her memorial service - the source of the message from her husband and daughter above. 

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