Green Burial

Janette Arlene (Pollom) Roberts

Janette Arlene (Pollom) Roberts, Lawrence, passed away Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Bridge Haven.

Born August 16, 1928 in Lawrence, KS to Marguerite and C.W. Pollom, Jan graduated from Kansas University (1950) with a degree in Home Economics. Upon graduation, she worked for the Kansas Gas Company as a nutritionist, in what was actually a Public Relations position; she paid visits to gas company customers who had recently purchased appliances – instructing them on their proper use and providing nutrition tips.

It was while working for the Gas Company in Parsons, KS that Jan met and married William G (Bill) Roberts Jr (June 1, 1952) who preceded her in death in 1986.

In the late 60s, Jan made the decision to embark on a career in Education. With three grade-school age children, after a stint teaching 5th grade at Cordley elementary, she returned to KU where she earned a B.S in Education, which was followed by a Masters in Special Education. Upon receiving her Masters, she served students at Central Jr. High. She later became a learning disabilities resource for District 497 and worked at East Heights, Woodlawn and St. John’s. At each stage in her career, she earned the respect of students and faculty alike by putting students’ needs first. In 1981 she was recognized as Outstanding Special Education Teacher, awarded by the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators.

Jan is survived by three children, William Griffith III (Biff) and wife Patricia, Montgomery, AL; Scott, Ottawa and Megan Allin and husband Dennis, Lenexa. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren, as well as a sister, Marilyn Adams, Lawrence.

Her legacy of education will continue as she has requested that her body be donated to the Kansas University Medical Center to help train future medical professionals.

At Jan’s request, the family will hold a private celebration of life party.

Jan and the family request that donations be made to either the Salvation Army, Lawrence VNA-Hospice or Bridge Haven (1701 Research Park Dr., Lawrence, KS 66044) and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Online condolences may be posted at


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  • Don and Linda Herbel says:

    Jan was a wonderful teacher and an exceptionally positive person.
    She was someone who helped hundreds of children and their families.
    She always put her students first in her work for the public schools.
    She was a lifelong learner. We enjoyed taking adult education classes with Jan. We were fortunate to know her and work with her.

  • Pat Newton says:

    I met Jan while teaching third grade at St. John School many, many years ago. She was the special education teacher assigned to St. John by USD 497 and the best I have ever worked with. She was my mentor for working with students with disabilities and after these many years, I still remember her words of wisdom. Jan had a wonderful sense of humor and a love for children. Eternal rest to you, Jan.
    Pat Newton, Principal, St. John School

  • Ann and Tom Kelly says:

    Megan, Dennis and family,

    Praying for you during this sad time. It’s getting crowded up in heaven with our loved ones. I know we all have angels watching over us. Love Tom and Annie

  • Ed Bartley says:

    Family: The best lady I know is now in Gods hands… Jan will be so very missed by so many friends and the children , who are now grown kids… this is a difficult time, but Mom is once again with Dad and that has to be good… God Bless the Roberts… big hugs to each of you and know that you are loved..

  • Barb Young Innes says:

    I was lucky to have met Jan. She lived on the same floor as my mom, Faye Young. Eating together for lunch was my highlight when Jan sit with us. As a retired sped school social worker in KCK we talked of our many sped experiences. I know she made a difference! And I know my mom will miss her friendship so much!

  • Sue Shaw Messerly says:

    Dear family of Jan Roberts, Jan was a member of Omicron Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma here in Lawrence. Our members express our sincere condolences on her loss. If you have any information about Jan’s years in Delta Kappa Gamma, please send our way as we would like to honor her memory at one of our meetings. I am a relatively new member but can remember Jan’s sweet smile.

    If anyone else reading these condolences has any information about Jan’s years with Omicron, especially offices or committees she served on, please let us know by contacting Loretta Scott, Omicron President. I have sent my email address to so I can get information back to Loretta. Thanks.
    So sorry for your loss.

  • Peggy Owen says:

    Jan was my mentor when I first began working as a special education teacher in Lawrence. She patiently answered my questions and was generous with her time. Her knowledge and insight made her a wonderful mentor who helped me gain confidence in my new position. I will always remember her kindness.
    Peggy Owen

  • The Francis family says:

    The Francis family has very special memories of Jan and Bill. I know our mom and Jan are catching up somewhere and sharing laughs. She was truly a wonderful person and her smiled will be missed.

    George Francis, April Dwyer Francis, Wendy Clay Francis, Jay Francis, Jon Francis.