Janet Allison LaMotte

1942 – 2023

Janet LaMotte, 81, passed away on Monday, August 28, 2023.

Janet “Jan” Allison (Johnson) LaMotte, 81, of Oklahoma City, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at Mercy Hospital ER. Her daughter was with her as she moved on to her new heavenly home on Monday, August 28th 2023. Jan was born on March 3, 1942 in Norfolk, Virginia to Geneva Elizabeth (Baird) Johnson and Charles Nelson Johnson, Jr. She spent the majority of her childhood on NSF Dahlgren naval base with her two younger siblings, Diana and Stephen. Her father was a civilian physicist for the Navy and her mother was a homemaker. The family moved to Arlington, Virginia when Jan was 12 years old. This was also the age that her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This would affect Jan the rest of her life. Jan attended and graduated from Washington and Lee High School. She attended Abilene Christian University. She attended both high school and college with her future husband, Larry, whom, she married in 1964. They had two daughters, Lisa and Lori. During this marriage, Jan was mostly a homemaker. She was an active mother to her children, making sure that their needs were met. She enjoyed sewing and decorating, attending church services, and attending her children’s many activities such as dance classes and dance recitals. She had a passion for activism and was not afraid to pursue something that she felt needed to be changed. Jan followed her husband’s career in radio/television. This required moving the family from Oklahoma City to Wichita, Kansas on to Ft. Worth, Texas, eastward to Fairfax, Virginia and finally settling back in Oklahoma City. In 1979, she divorced. Jan and her daughters moved into her forever home in 1980.

As a high school Senior, Jan was inspired to enter civil service by the example of her father and by a speech given by President John F. Kennedy emphasizing the opportunities available in government service. She began as a clerk-typist for the U.S. Army, spending two years stationed in Washington, D.C., Dallas, Texas and Fort Belvoir, Virginia, before joining the IRS in 1962 as a secretary. Jan continued to build her administrative skills through the 1960s, working as a personnel assistant for the Texas State Board of Control from 1964 until 1965, when she accepted a procurement clerk position with the Federal Aviation Administration Aeronautical Center based out of Oklahoma City.

After a brief stint with the Defense Logistics Agency in the late 1970s, Jan started what would become a career-defining period working at Tinker Air Force Base. Starting in 1979 as a clerk-typist, she quickly rose to become an accounting clerk and secretary before moving into a supply specialist role in 1982. With the help of a Federally Employed Women a scholarship and scholarship funds from the Tinker Management Association, Jan continued her education, earning an Associate of Arts from Rose State College in 1982 and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 1984. She completed a Master of Arts in Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma in 1986 and was promoted to worldwide inventory management specialist at Tinker A.F.B. the following year, a role she continued to hold until her retirement in 1998.

Throughout her career, Jan was active in the Air Force Association, serving terms as vice president of communications and executive secretary at the local and state levels, earning accolades including an Oklahoma State AFA Member of the Year, National Medal of Merit and National Exceptional Service Award for her contributions. She contributed articles and photographs to local and state-wide newspapers and published local newsletters, as well as submitting news stories that were published in the national Air Force Association Magazine. She was highly involved in community life, supporting animal rescue charities, non-profit organizations for social causes, military and regional history trusts and museums, and advocating for local policy initiatives, notably safety and zoning laws. She was a longtime member and past Area Governor for Toastmasters International clubs at Tinker A.F.B., where she published monthly newsletters. A member of several local and state historical/genealogical societies, Jan has primarily dedicated herself to genealogical studies in her retirement and works with ancestry.com and findagrave.com creating family trees and memorials.

Jan enjoyed a lifelong passion for water sports and was an expert swimmer, lettering in swimming in high school, certifying in Life Saving and Water Safety, Open Water Scuba Diving and Sailing. She was a volunteer for the US Olympics Festival in Oklahoma City.

She is preceded in death by her daughter, Lori Louise LaMotte. Her brother, Stephen Louis Johnson, and her parents, Geneva and Charles Nelson Johnson Jr. Also, her step-mother, Ruth Berry Johnson and her ex-husband, Larry LaMotte.

She is survived by her daughter and her husband, Lisa (LaMotte) and Mark Buchholz of  Edmond, Oklahoma.  Grandson, Zachary Buchholz and wife, Mariah of Piedmont, Oklahoma. Jan was to be a first-time great grandmother this November. Jan’s sister, Diana and her husband, Charlie in Virginia. Many maternal and paternal cousins in Wichita and Mt. Hope, Kansas. Her lifelong friend, Lucy Richards of Virginia and her beloved neighbors, especially Rose and her husband, James.

Jan made friends wherever she landed and would faithfully keep in touch. Jan loved her pets, dog Rascal and 6 cats (Lily, Old Blue, Mama, Sparkle, Twinkle, Sugar). Jan kept up with all of the family genealogy. She was very involved with her family members and loved their visits whether in person or online.  

A memorial service is scheduled for 10:00 AM, Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, OK and Saturday, September 30th, 2023, 10:30 am at Pathway Church campus in Goddard, Kansas. Jan will be buried in Falls Church, Virginia at the National Cemetery, next to her father.

2 thoughts on “Janet Allison LaMotte”

  1. I loved working with Jan on our mutual genealogy. Her mother and my mother were sisters. She was upbeat and fun during our occasional, but treasured, visits in person. I miss her. Love to all her family and friends. Cousin Sue

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