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Longtime F.C. Resident & Former School Board Member Janice Eklund Dies

Janice Mildred Eklund, 57, a longtime resident of the City of Falls Church and one of the first elected school board members in Virginia, died on Tuesday, May 6, 2008, of colon cancer at her home in Annandale, Va.

Born on April 22, 1951, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Clinton and Alice Eklund, Janice spent her early school years in Massachusetts. She graduated high school from Abbot Academy (now Phillips Andover Academy) and received a National Merit Letter of Commendation, among other honors. She attended Vassar College and eventually obtained her BA in English from the University of Maryland at College Park, with highest academic distinction. She also pursued graduate work in American Literature at George Washington University.

Andover’s motto non sibi ( “not for ourselves”) inspired Janice to pursue a lifelong involvement in social and political service. She began by helping organize the student strike for peace while at Vassar, and represented Vassar in meetings with then Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and New York U.S. Senator Jacob Javits. She was a passionate member of the Democratic Party and dedicated advocate of the rights of women, gays, and victims. She engaged herself for many years in the local community, particularly in the school system. She frequently volunteered in the classroom, became vice president of the PTA, and served for four years on the Falls Church City School Board (eventually becoming vice-chair). While on the school board, she was active in the gifted and talented committee and was instrumental in forming a partnership between UVA, Virginia Tech, and Falls Church City Schools. Also, she played a key role in implementing a process for regular review and revision of Board policies, improving financial reporting, and analyzing options for restructuring municipal debt.

For the majority of her career, she worked in finance and accounting. She served as the financial administrator for the flagship division of Control Data Corp. She then conducted individual financial planning and analysis. While she was dedicated to her professional life, her highest priorities were given to her family and close friends.

She was married for over 31 years to her beloved husband, James Seret. Together, they raised two wonderful sons, Justin and Trevor. She always found time for her pets as well and adopted several abandoned cats and dogs. She also filled her spare time with reading, gardening, and building her collection of antiques. She felt abundantly blessed by her family and friends. She often spoke of how they lightened her burdens and brightened her days. Janice asked them not to mourn, but to organize – to carry on the work that she will no longer be able to do.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday June 7, 2008 at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church beginning at 11 am followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to support the Colon Cancer Alliance, Attn: Tim Trunham, 1200 G St., NW, Washington, D.C. 2005; or to support the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Center, checks made payable to Johns Hopkins University, and mailed to the the attention of Michelle Cohen, Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, One Charles Center, 100 N. Charles St., Suite 421A, Baltimore, Md. 21201.