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Janice Ann Tomlonovic

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 11:40 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:11 p.m. CST

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Janice Ann Tomlonovic died at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Calif., on April 22, 2013, after suffering a massive cerebellum hemorrhage and stroke. Janice was born at Skiff Hospital in Newton in 1938 and grew up on the family farm near Colfax.

She attended Jasper County elementary schools, Colfax Community Junior High School and graduated from Colfax Community High School in 1956. She earned a BA in home economics/education from Marycrest College in Davenport in 1960 and an MS in Education from Iowa State University in 1974. She taught home economics in Delmar-Elwood school district for one year. In September 1961, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Humility at the motherhouse in Ottumwa to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to serve God alone. She was received into the congregation in July 1962 as Sister Maura, pronounced first vows in 1964 and final vows as Sister Janice in 1969. From 1965-1975 she served as food service director and/or taught at: St. Joseph Hospital, Ottumwa Heights College, Ottumwa; St Albert the Great High School, Council Bluffs; Marycrest College and Assumption High School, Davenport.

Janice continued her spirituality development in 1975-76 during a yearlong program at Gonzaga University and the Institute for Contemporary Spirituality at Immaculate Heart Retreat House, both in Spokane, Wash. She helped establish the Humility House of Prayer in Davenport and then became Associate Director/Team Member of the ecumenical Emmanuel House of Prayer in Iowa City (1978-1982).

She moved into a new profession in 1982, becoming a pastoral minister at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, where she served for seven years. Recognizing the need for further professional training and certification in this field, she completed the Clinical Pastoral Education program at St. Mary’s Hospital/University of San Francisco in 1990. Upon receiving her Pastoral Ministry Certification she began serving the Sacramento Metro area primarily at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, Calif. She continued to increase and broaden her skills especially by becoming very active at the local and national level of the NACC-National Association of Catholic Chaplains, serving as a regional officer for many years. She retired from Mercy San Juan in 2008. In August 2012 she moved to Mercy Retirement and Care Center, Oakland, Calif. She also made other life changes, receiving a Dispensation from her Religious Vows as a Sister of Humility in 1993.

Our sister was a deeply spiritual woman of faith who lived her Roman Catholic Faith in a life of service, attending daily Mass, praying and serving the most needy among us. Above all, she loved everyone, everywhere. She worked very hard throughout her life, was committed to the service of others and conducted herself in a thoroughly professional manner. She had a ready smile and hearty laugh, loved a good joke or story, was a very patient listener, and practiced great generosity especially to those in need.

She loved all sports, especially basketball. She was an Iowa All-State basketball player in high school with an unstoppable hook shot. She scored over 40 points in several games and really enjoyed teaching this skill and basketball fundamentals to others, especially her nephews. While teaching at Assumption High School, Davenport, she helped coach girls basketball as Title IX pro- grams were being developed. During her years in Sacramento she became an avid fan of the Kings preferring television coverage to game attendance because she could see the action better that way!

A memorial mass will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. July 29 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 305 E. Howard St. in Colfax. Burial will follow at Colfax Cemetery. A former colleague from San Juan Hospital will officiate. The celebration of Janice’s life will continue after services at the family farm of Pat and Terrie Tomlonovic.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Cecelia Tomlonovic; her sister Donna Ruden; and nephew, Paul Ruden. She is survived by her siblings, Barbara Halko (Dave), of Corvallis, Org.; Teri Hill (Eldyn) of Bixby, Okla.; Patrick Tomlonovic (Terrie) of Colfax; and Mary Jane Henry (Gene) of Livermore, Calif.; 14 nieces and nephews; 17 great-nieces and great-nephews; one great-great-nephew; and numerous cousins and friends.

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