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Janet "Jan" Proudfit Emerick

Updated: Oct 23

On Sunday October 17th , Janet Sue Emerick left earth for her heavenly home at the age of 88 at Wesley Acres. She was born on March 2nd, 1933, in Des Moines, Iowa to the parents of Cecil and Opal Proudfit of Valley Junction. Jan was a proud graduate of Valley High School in 1951. She married William Theophilus in 1954. She and William welcomed their only child, Cindy Sue. Jan’s finest accomplishment, best friend, and joy of her life. She later married Billie Emerick in 1967. She began her working career with various insurance agencies in downtown Des Moines before finding her niche working for Iowa Methodist Clinics. She became a Certified Medical Assistant. She retired in 1998 working as the Manager for the Iowa Methodist Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons. Janet was adored by the physicians and staff at CTS and remained in touch with many of them after her retirement. With her medical background, Jan felt very comfortable visiting and volunteering in nursing homes, making gifts for the underprivileged, and children, especially around the Holidays.


Janet spent her retirement years enjoying her town home in West Des Moines until she moved to The Lodge of Ashworth Independent Senior Living. She eventually moved to Wesley Acres Assisted Living and her final place the John Stoddard Health Center at Wesley Acres.


In later years, she found joy in creating flower arrangements and personal wreaths for her friends and family. She was especially talented in the arena of creating holiday ceramics, many of which still are being admired and kept as family keepsakes. She also was very skilled at crocheting and making colorful Afghans. Playing the piano was something she loved doing and she did so for the church as a young woman.


Jan was a member of the First Christian Church of West Des Moines for many years. She eventually began to attend the Pentecostal services at The First Assembly of God where she thoroughly enjoyed their vivacious music and sermons.


Jan, with close girlfriends and her daughter, enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Mexico, and Chicago. Not to be forgotten were the many weekends spent fishing and boating in Okoboji.


Janet was a spitfire and lived life to the fullest. She was truly loved by so many! It is difficult to count. She did not mince words when she felt they were needed. She was quick to tell people how much she thought of and admired them. She also had a sharp wit and infectious laughter. If Jan loved you, you knew it, she did it with her entire being.

Janet is survived by her only child Cindy Sue Theophilus of Des Moines. Cindy’s husband Kory Frederick who was like the son she never had. She is also survived by her brother Jerry Proudfit of Waukee, sisters-in-law Ardys and Ardyth Theophilus, cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews.


In death she joins her parents, sisters Annalee Smith and M. Jean Orebaugh, sister-in-law Marilyn Proudfit, brothers-in-law Burdette and Morgan Theophilus, niece Carin Lunn and nephew Craig Hicks, her sweetheart John O’Leary, as well as her many fur babies, especially C.J.


Along with her family, she expressed to the very end her great gratitude of the loving and caring staff in the health center. A special heartfelt Thank You goes out to her favorite Nurse, Barineka at Wesley Acres.


Please join us to Celebrate her life at the Merle Hay Funeral Home and Chapel on October 27th, at 2:00 p.m., visitation beginning one hour prior at 1:00 p.m.


Mom was always a giver; she gave more than she ever received. In remembrance of her always have a kind word for someone, you never know how it will brighten their spirit.