Graphic: back to Janssen IndexThe Janssen Family

by Judy Vorfeld, with credit to Shirley Bomke-Craddock for much historical data

Nana with John, Jeff, Vicky, and Jan Vorfeld-1973One of the first Janssens I met was Jack's mother. She was in her eighties, could barely hear, walk, or breathe, but she welcomed me with open arms. Why? Because she saw that I loved her son. From what I learned from the family, her life ended - in large part - when Walter died. From that time forward, she simply went through the motions of living. She died not many years after Jack and I were married.

What a woman. By the time I got to meet her, she had been widowed for many years, was living with daughter, Charlotte Fleener. Mother, or Nana, was another who accepted me because she saw that I adored her son. I never felt that I knew her intimately, but I never felt alienated. She was a true lady. I love her, as I love Daddy Walter and the elder Janssens, because they brought up my husband in a nurturing environment, and he has passed on that legacy.

Frances, Edna, Jack, Judy about 1972And how I remember Aunt Frances, Uncle Bill's widow, not only one of the finest cooks I've ever known, but a fascinating, highly intelligent woman. Nurturing was second nature to this unusual woman. She had literally hundreds of family photos in every room in her home, along with delightful little knick-knacks. Everywhere. When I walked into her home on Spencer Street, the rich aroma of good food always greeted me, along with our charming auntie and her companion, Edna Enomoto. I felt as if it were my second home.

And what can I say about their children, Jack's first and second cousins? Gracious. Brilliant. Attractive. Fun. Even sparkling. I only know Don and Alva Janssen McDiarmid, Jim and Carol Janssen,Ted and Marilyn Janssen Cleghorn, and Pat Janssen Clark, but they have enough energy and talent for the rest of the family!

Jack said because he was the first grandchild, the Janssens spoiled him. When the grandkids came to visit, Grandma Janssen always brought out a special box of Corn Flakes, just for Jack. Everyone else had to eat oatmeal. He feel sure his cousins have forgiven him by now.

Is it okay to brag on Don? Sunday, May 17, 1998, CBS broadcast The Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts' awards for the Hawaiian music of the year: the 21st annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. It's kind of like the Grammy Awards, but just for Hawaiian music. This year instead of honoring a recording star or musician, they honored Don McDiarmid with the LIfetime Achievement Award. He's spent many years as a record producer. In a memo to Jack and Judy, he said, ". . . I received a standing ovation. That of course put a lump in my throat as big as your fist." We have the video tape of that exciting night, when Don was surrounded by family and friends and honored for being an entrepreneur and tremendous enthusiast of Hawaiian music. An Ambassador.

Don is deeply involved in Hawaiian music: Hawaii Calls, Inc., Hula Records, and Kona-Kai Distributing. He has a cordial working relationship with many gifted recording stars and musicians.

Fred and Edy JanssenJim Janssen and Jack Vorfeld 1998Uncle Fred and Aunt Edie lived in Honolulu. What a wonderful couple. Because Jack loved me, they loved me, without reservation. That meant a great deal to a family-starved young woman! And their children: again, the very best. Haven't seen Ted & Marilyn Janssen Cleghorn of Kula for a while, but in early 1998 Jim and Carole Janssen stopped by Arizona for a visit, and our brief time was memorable. We've even heard from Jim and Carole's grandson, who loves this family site. The photo on the right is of Jim and Jack. We look forward to the next time we can get together with these grand people.

graphic of hibiscus

Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
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