Janice Louise Schwartz, 79, passed on from this life, Wednesday, December 30, 2020. Jan suffered a massive stroke due to complications from Covid. She was born February 5, 1941 to Frances and George Thruston in Oakland, CA. She graduated from Castlemont Senior High School in 1958 and attended San Jose State University in the fall. Wanting more she moved to Missoula, MT in 1960 and attended U of M. She graduated in 1963 with a degree in Sociology. She also met her husband, James Schwartz, in Missoula, the two were married October 5, 1963 and were inseparable ever since. In 1976, Jim and Jan, along with their two young boys, left Missoula and moved to Bozeman.
Jan's passion for real estate started with selling her home in Missoula. Her love for the process influenced the transition from a career in social work to one in real estate. Jan started her real estate career, in 1977, with Coldwell Banker and earned her way to top Coldwell Agent in the state of Montana in 2000. In 2001, Jan left Coldwell and became a founding member of the first Keller Williams office in Montana. Throughout her career, Jan helped hundreds of clients and mentored dozens of agents, truly inspiring. She was chosen as Montana Association of Realtors, Realtor of the Year in 1995. She was honored with countless other awards throughout her tenure. Jan retired from the day-to-day business in 2017 and was granted her Realtor Emeritus Status the same year. She continued to play an active role in Keller Williams and the real estate community.
Jan has been described as the "standard of excellence" in the Real Estate industry. Her caring nature and professionalism allowed her to become an idol and role model for younger agents. She was affable and kind to everyone she met and went out of her way to ensure you were welcomed and part of her family. She would always leave a handwritten note and was admired throughout her career for her personal touch.
Aside from real estate, Jan was heavily involved in volunteering at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. She would work the gift shop, create birth discharge packets for new moms and just generally bring light to whoever she came in contact with. Jan also enjoyed her women's Bridge group that she regularly met with for over 40 years.
Jan enjoyed all Montana had to offer. Frequently traveling throughout the state, spending time in Virginia City, and many summer days at her condo in Bigfork and inviting family and friends to enjoy all Flathead Lake had to offer. Jan was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend. She was the spark that lit the room!!
As described by her friend and hairdresser, "She did not miss a beat! Ever! Engaged and loved young energy! So positive, and wide eyed! Refreshing! Possibilities! Always seeing the best, no matter what was happening! Not afraid of anything! Take off! Drive in a city, find her way! See the best of the city she was visiting! And tell you, and you wanted to go! Never stopped working, checking out properties no matter what! Passion!!!!! and her dog, ohhhhhh! Bringing flowers! Random acts of kindness! Or chicken salad from Joe's! She said I loved this, so I brought you some! Whatttt! Never said a bad word about anyone! And overlooked drama! She just carried on! This is the best salad I ever had! Rose colored glasses! She always wiped the slate clean! Water off a duck’s back! Start over every day! Clean! Adventure! What else! Always dressed to the 9s! Ready! Her Harley boots! Jan and Jim what a sexy couple! He let her be her and she let him be him! Brilliant!"
Though she is gone, her legacy will continue to inspire others as it had throughout her life.
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, June 2nd, from 2-5PM at the Anderson Pavilion in Bogert Park (casual attire recommended). Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, www.stjude.org.