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Remembering Janice Gerdemann By Maxine Demory

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Janice Gerdemann, a long-time League of Women Voters (LWV) member, passed away at age 95 on September 4, 2020. Janice and her husband, Jim, purchased a piece of property in Yachats in 1981, and moved to Oregon from Illinois. Janice had been a member of the League of Women Voters in Illinois and she soon joined the Lincoln County LWV. At that time, our local League had several units which met monthly in different parts of the county. Janice soon became an active member of the South county unit. She helped with voter service activities and was especially interested in civil rights, land use planning, natural resources and protecting public access to the beach. One of the projects she organized was the creation of a large map showing all the beach access points in Lincoln County. She was also active in the work to preserve the 804 Trail along the Yachats coastline.

During the years Janice was working with the LWV, she and Jim were also developing their acre of land into an amazing garden featuring many varieties of rhododendrons and other plants from all over the world. In 2008, they made arrangements to preserve their property as a public trust and it became the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve, still open to the public for all to enjoy.

After Jim died and as Janice began to have some health problems, she moved to Albany to an assisted living facility. However, she remained a member of our Lincoln County LWV, making many trips on the bus to Newport or Yachats, often for the sole purpose of attending an LWV meeting. She was one of three Lincoln County LWV members honored as 50-year members a few years ago.

In 2015, Janice celebrated her 90th birthday with a party in Yachats and noted with appreciation the number of LWV members who attended. League members remember her wit and wisdom, and her interest in people of all kinds. They remember the good questions she asked of guest speakers and the stories she told of her travels and adventures. Janice was full of life and she will be missed.

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