Janet L. Martinek, 83, died July 26, 2019, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kansas.
She was born to Ross and Vera (Glass) Leggett, on June 8, 1936, in Fredonia, Kansas. Her early childhood was spent with her maternal grandparents, James and Iva P. Glass. In 1940, her mother, Vera, moved Janet and her brother, William, to Wichita, Kansas. From there they moved to a farm south of Silver Lake, Kansas, with her step-father, Carl Entsminger.
Janet attended schools in rural Shawnee County and upon consolidation attended Silver Lake Grade School and High School, graduating in May, 1954. She was active in school and community activities, which included editing a national recognized high school newspaper, Eagle Flashes. At a time when there were no women’s athletics in high school, she was an avid cheerleader for all sports during those four years. Following graduation, Janet went to work (the next day) for the State of Kansas.
On December 12, 1954, she married Orville Martinek, who survives. They celebrated their 64th anniversary in December.
She worked for many years in various positions with the State of Kansas, the Kansas Legislature and Washburn University. While working for the Kansas Legislature, Janet wrote and compiled the first manual for Legislative Secretaries. She was assistant to the Press Secretary during the administration of Governor Robert F. Bennett, was administrative assistant to the Press Secretary and Office Manager for Attorney General, Robert T. Stephan. Janet then served as Deputy Press Secretary and Administrator at Cedar Crest during the administration of Governor Mike Hayden. She served in the President’s Office at Washburn University, as Office Specialist for two University Presidents, Hugh Thompson and Jerry B. Farley. While at Washburn, Janet took several classes toward a degree in Communications and actively supported campus beautification efforts. She retired from Washburn in 2001. Still not finished with employment outside of her home, Janet went to work for Senator Steve Morris and the Kansas Legislature. She retired again in 2006, but spent several more years working part-time in the Offices of Pinegar, Smith and Associates.
Janet and Orville had three children, who survive: Kenneth (Stephanie), Tempe, AZ; Ronnie (Diane), Lake Wabaunsee, KS; Lesa (George Lambert), Rossville, KS. She is survived by nine grandchildren: Schuyler, Meghan (Brendan Deska), Shelby, Brian (Samantha), and Greg Martinek; Jordan, Cameron, Jacob and Emily Lambert, and two great-granddaughters, Malia Martinek and Elizabeth Lambert. She is also survived by several cousins, nieces and a nephew. In recent years Janet discovered she had two half-sisters. One, Joyce Ahearn, deceased; and the other, Dorothy Krausnick, Buffalo, NY, survives. Her parents and brother, William Ward, preceded her in death.
Active in the work of her church, Janet served in many capacities throughout the years: Sunday School teacher and Superintendent, numerous committees and councils within the church, including chairing the Building Committee that rebuilt the church after it burned in 1984. She remained active following retirement, serving as Secretary of the United Methodist Women and chair of the Scholarship Committee. She also chaired the Silver Lake Library Foundation Board of Directors, and was an active member of the Washburn University Campus Beautification Committee (which she helped organize). Janet was a former member of the Silver Lake School Board and an active member of the Foxie Ladies Red Hat Society Chapter, Silver Lake.
Janet loved to read and go to movies with friends. She loved tending her flower pots, transplanting, trimming and sharing with friends. She loved to bake pies, cookies, cakes and other treats, and was never happier than when her children or grandchildren helped make Christmas cookies. Her favorite activities were watching her children and grandchildren in musicals, plays, school programs, and sports events of all kinds. She and Orville like to travel, when they could, spending much time at the lake or real trips to Oslo, Norway, Ireland, the New England states, and some western states. She was an avid KU basketball fan, loved the Royals, Chiefs and most of all, the Silver Lake Eagles.
A life-long Republican, Janet worked in many campaigns, as a volunteer and paid staff member. She also served as a Shawnee County Precinct Committeewoman for several years.
Visitation will be Monday, July 29, 2019 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at Parker-Price Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, 245 NW Independence Avenue, Topeka. A Memorial Service will be Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the Silver Lake United Methodist Church, at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Silver Lake United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 188, Silver Lake, KS. 66539; The Silver Lake Public Library Building Fund, P.O. Box 248, Silver Lake, KS 66539; or Washburn Campus Beautification Committee, c/o Washburn University Foundation, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621.
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