Janis Louise Byrd Leverich passed away peacefully and surrounded by family and friends on June 15, 2013, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was just 55. Janis will be remembered for her generosity, wit, sense of humor and – most of all – her never-ending optimism.
Janis was born on January 25, 1958, in Garden Grove, California, to Richard and Nancy Byrd. She graduated from Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove in 1976 and obtained a degree in Political Science from the Evergreen State College. She went on to graduate from Boston University with a Master’s degree in International Relations.
She met the love of her life, Denis Leverich, in July 2005. She and Denis traveled the world, most recently in April to South America, where Janis took great pleasure in the region’s wine, food and photography. Together, Janis and Denis enjoyed volunteering in the community, watching their grandchildren grow up, and spending time with their many friends.
Janis built a successful financial management practice in Shelton, and is well known in the Mason County community for her deep commitment to various civic causes. Before her career with Edward Jones, Janis worked for KMAS radio and the Shelton-Mason County Journal.
Janis was an active member and past president of Shelton Skookum Rotary, the Mason General Hospital Foundation and Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded many honors for her community service, including being named one of the Businesswomen of the Year for 2003, and was recently named a Paul Harris Fellow by Skookum Rotary. In the last six years alone, she also received 12 awards from Edward Jones for her outstanding performance and service.
Her annual “Save the Eggs” event to raise funds for the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research was Janis’s own personal contribution to the cause of ovarian cancer. Also included in her legacy is the annual “Hope for the Holidays” food drive that she organized every December, netting thousands of pounds of food and donations every year for the benefit of various local food banks. Janis’s family and friends have pledged to honor her by continuing to put on Save the Eggs and Hope for the Holidays.
She also organized Music in the Park, a downtown Shelton summer concert series at Post Office Park. Her final days were spent tending to her clients and planning the 2013 season of Music in the Park, which begins July 11.
Janis is survived by her beloved husband, Denis Leverich; her father, Richard Byrd; stepchildren Brenda Leverich King, Gregg Leverich, Christopher Leverich, Jeremy Leverich, Rachel Leverich Barnett and Patrick Hunter; nephew Nathan Willard; and numerous grandchildren and grandnieces and grandnephews, whom she adored. She was preceded in death by her mother, Nancy Byrd, and her brother, Richard Scott Byrd.
The Mason County community will not be the same without Janis. To say Janis was “full of life” is a significant understatement. The celebration of Janis’s life will be held June 29, 2013 at 1:00 at the Pavilion at Sentry Park in Shelton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research in memory of Janis Byrd and “Save the Eggs.”
If you choose to donate in memory of Janis, please:
- Click Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research
- Select the "Support the MRC" tab.
- Select Tributes and Memorial Gifts
- Click Donate online
- After entering all of your information at the bottom select the "in honor or memory of" tab and fill in Janis Byrd.