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Janet Spahn (1947-2019)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 11/24/2019 at 13:40:00

Janet Elizabeth Malone Spahn passed away from a sudden cardiac event on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Jan was born to Jean and Ralph Anderson on January 30, 1947, in Spokane, Washington. Jan was raised in Bellevue, Washington, by her mother, Jean, and stepfather, Robert Keeney, together with her four sisters, Frances, Marcia, Lisa and Jill. She spent her early summers with her Grandma Ida exploring the woods and shores of Lopez Island, and her high school summers boating and fishing on Whidbey Island. She was known by her classmates as the beautiful, funny and vivacious “Jannie” “Keeney-Wienie.”

Jan attended Central Washington University and met and married Jon Ruebel. They moved to Seattle and she worked for John’s family business, Mid-Mountain Contractors. When their marriage ended, Jan accepted a position as one of the first women salespeople with Gillette Company. It turned out to be a life-changing career choice; shortly thereafter, in January of 1979, she flew to Arizona for a regional sales meeting, where she met and fell in love with Ron Malone. Ron and Jan were married six-months later, and welcomed their daughter, Lindsey Elizabeth, that same year. They moved to Dubuque for what was supposed to be a short Midwestern sojourn so that Ron could take a position with William C. Brown publishing company. They never left.

Jan was the most devoted mother. Every day was filled with books and crafts and laughter, and when Ron was traveling, bit plates of buttered noodles with parmesan while watching Dynasty in bed.

When Lindsey started school, Jan began a new career as a real estate agent, figuring that it would provide her with the flexibility to be a working mom. Jan became one of the most accomplished and sought-after real estate agents in Dubuque – surprising even herself with the magnitude of her success. Jan counted her many clients as friends; she could not walk into a restaurant or a store in Dubuque without seeing a familiar face.

Ron and Jan took fabulous trips, dined in amazing restaurants, built beautiful homes, and took immense joy in the closeness of their family of three. Jan was Ron’s rock and caretaker during his five-year battle with cancer.

After Ron’s death, Jan had the unexpected and extraordinary good fortune of finding love again; it just happened to be residing right next door. On January 17, 2017, Jan married her long-time neighbor, David Spahn, after a four-year courtship. Jan and Dave loved nothing more than taking walks together, sitting outside with a glass of wine, dining at L. May, the Morocco, or Timmerman’s, and enjoying the company of their ever-expanding circle of dear friends. Most of all, they delighted in spending time with their grandchildren, Andy, Henry and Rory in Dubuque, and Mac and Will in Seattle.

As friends and family have mourned Jan’s unexpected passing, the memories and stories they have shared all highlight the generosity and warmth of her friendship, the way she filled a room with joy and laughter, and the way she created moments, both big and small, that enhanced the lives of everyone around her. She will be missed every moment of every day.

Jan is survived by her daughter Lindsey (Nik) Pflugrath, and her grandsons MacDougal and Willem Pflugrath; her husband David Spahn, and Dave’s son Matt (Jennifer) Spahn and grandsons Andrew and Henry Spahn, and Dave’s daughter, Sarah Spahn and granddaughter Aurora Spahn; her sisters Marcia Johnson-Witter, Lisa Keeney McCarthy, and Jill Keeney Cooper; her nephews Russell (Michelle D’Card), Mathew (Alexis) Johnson, Alexander Johnson, and Connor McCarthy, and niece Shannon McCarthy.


Dubuque Obituaries maintained by Constance Diamond.
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