Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Former NCAL Chair Loses Battle to Cancer

Dave Kyllo

Our dear friend Jan Thayer passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 3 following a heroic battle with cancer. Jan held several leadership roles in AHCA and NCAL, including chair of NCAL, and she was President of the Foundation for the Future of Aging at the time of her passing. Jan was deeply admired and was a mentor to countless past, current and future leaders of both AHCA and NCAL. She was often referred to as the “grand dame” of NCAL by her association friends – a tribute to her constant wisdom and elegance. 

Jan’s professional motto was “to deliver the same care that you would provide for your own mother,” and it was a motto she lived by for the 25+ years she owned and operated Riverside Lodge in Grand Island, Nebraska. She also presided over a development group that specialized in developing and managing affordable senior apartments and family homes in the Midwest.

Her career began in the 1960s as a dietician. She held numerous leadership positions in that field before entering the long term care profession in the 1980s. In addition to the leadership roles she held on the national level, she also held leadership positions in the Nebraska Health Care Association and other Nebraska health care organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Medical Center since 1997. In 2012, AHCA Past Chair Neil Pruitt presented Jan with the association’s prestigious “Chairman’s Award,” – the highest honor that an AHCA/NCAL association member can receive. It was one of more than a dozen distinguished honors that Jan received in her lifetime.

Jan was an enthusiastic fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and was proud of the tailgate parties her residents and staff held at Riverside Lodge on game days. She is survived by her husband, Ernie, three sons and several grandchildren. She will be deeply missed.

Visitation is at All Faiths Funeral Home from 5 pm – 7 pm, on Wednesday, May 7th. Her funeral is at 1 pm on Thursday, May 8th at Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island.

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