Valley County, IDGenWeb Project

Janet Thurston McMahan

Janet McMahan, 81, formerly of McCall, passed away peacefully at her Boise home on Oct. 14, 2012 with her children and sister at her side.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, at the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel, 5400 Fairview Avenue in Boise. Private interment will take place at the Council cemetery.

Janet Frances Thurston was born Jan. 2, 1931 in Denver, Colo., to Dr. Alvin S. Thurston and Mary Planert Thurston. Her father was completing a medical residency in that city prior to settling in Council, where he was the sole practicing physician for many years.

Her parents placed a high value on quality education, and because of that, sent Jan to complete secondary school at Boise High School, and then to Stanford University, where she received a bachelorís degree in biology in 1952. She then worked in San Francisco as a medical technician for several years.

Jan married Donald McMahan on Nov. 24, 1956 in McCall. His family operated a ranch in Fruitvale, and the McMahans and McDowells were among the pioneers who settled Council, Fruitvale and Indian Valley in the 1800s.

After marriage, Jan and Don lived in San Francisco but returned to live in Fruitvale in 1958 after the birth of the first of their four children. They raised cattle and lived the ranch and farm life for the next decade in the Council Valley, then moved to McCall in 1968 to take ownership of the Payette Lakes Star and the Cascade News, which they later combined into The Star-News.

They lived and breathed the newspaper business and a title insurance concern for the next 14 years before retiring to Riggins.

Jan and Don loved their retirement life together, which they divided between their home on the Salmon River and their snowbird haven in Yuma, Ariz., along with frequent fishing trips to the Oregon and Washington coasts and visits to their children and grandchildren in California and elsewhere.

After Don suffered a debilitating stroke in 2004, they gave up travelling to live full-time in Riggins, and Jan continued to live there alone after her husbandís death in 2007. With her health in decline, she reluctantly agreed to move to Boise in 2011 to share a home with her eldest son. J

an loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed the natural beauty of Idahoís mountains, lakes and rivers. Even with the demands of running two businesses and a busy household in McCall, the family always found time to take camping trips into the back country and to enjoy skiing at Brundage and the Little Hill.

She treasured spending time with family and close friends and she placed a high value on the characteristics of self-reliance, loyalty and independent thinking.

Jan is survived by her sister, Sally Clark of Boise, son Kevin McMahan, also of Boise, daughter Kerrin McMahan of Los Angeles, son Scott (Janie) McMahan of Nordland, Wash., and four grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her son Jonathan in 1982 and her husband Donald in 2007.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made in her name to the City of Riggins ambulance fund.




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