Lynn Janeway 1946 – 2024

Written by Estero Bay News

March 14, 2024

It is with sadness that we report that Lynn Sue (Mersits) Janeway passed away peacefully on February 24, 2024, after a long hard-fought illness.  Lynn was born on September 24, 1946, in Long Beach, California.  Her formative years were spent in Whittier, California, where she attended elementary school and Whittier High School.

While attending Whittier High School, Lynn was actively involved in music (playing the flute in the band and orchestra), sewing, and developing her leadership skills as a band officer.  And she found her future husband in the trumpet section.  Yes … Lynn and George were high school sweethearts!

While attending UCLA, she continued to play in the UCLA Concert Band while working on her degree in English and obtaining her Elementary Teaching credential.  

Upon graduation from UCLA Lynn and George married in June, 1968.  After George’s graduation from UCLA Dental School in 1970, they moved to Connecticut for two years where Lynn taught elementary school and George satisfied his military obligation with the United States Public Health Service at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.

In 1972 Lynn and George moved to San Luis Obispo with their first son, Michael Scott Janeway, on the way.  Lynn was introduced to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) by George’s cousin, Miriam Palmer.  She immediately joined that group (at age 26) and has been an active member for 51 years. Lynn held most offices in that organization including multiple years as President.  She met many amazing women who mentored her, even as she mentored others.  

In 1976 their second son, Christopher Mathew Janeway, was born.  Soon after they moved to Los Osos.  When the boys entered Sunnyside Elementary School, Lynn volunteered her time and served as the Community Resources Coordinator.  She was instrumental in developing the first school wide Science Fair.   After 5 years, George convinced her to leave the school and become the full-time office manager for his dental practice.  They retired in 2010.

From the time of their marriage, George and Lynn enjoyed camping and traveling in various RV’s (from pup tent to 5th wheel trailer) throughout the United States.  Lynn and George also played in the San Luis Obispo County Band.

In 2023 Lynn was honored by AAUW with the Cal Poly AAUW SLO Branch Lynn S. Janeway Memorial Scholarship to be given each year to a woman who is returning to college. 

Lynn was preceded in death by her father, James John Mersits; her mother, Irene Lois Mersits; and her brother Thomas Mersits.

She is survived by her husband George, sons Michael Janeway and Christopher Janeway (Kristin), granddaughters Danielle Janeway and Audrey Janeway, grandsons Ayrton Janeway and Levin Janeway, and sisters Gail Wakefield and Sherry Catchpole.

We are grateful for the caring treatment at UCLA Health in San Luis Obispo and the support of Wilshire Hospice.

A Celebration of Life will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to the Cal Poly AAUW SLO Branch Lynn S. Janeway Memorial Scholarship fund.  Lynn’s passion was protecting the rights and advancing the education of women and girls. To donate, go to https://bit.ly/436sgGu.

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