Jan passed away on June 26, 2017, Age 56. She was born August 28, 1960, Janet Lynn Higgs, in Wheeling, IL, to Loving parents Ralph and Megan Higgs and bother Jeff. She was Married To Michael Ehas on July 12, 1986. Jan was a teacher, first as a Special Education teacher for students with severe and profound behavioral disorders at Jack London School in Wheeling and later as Special Education teacher at Joyce Kilmer School in Buffalo Grove, IL. She taught Special Education for 17 years, but the emotional and mental stresses finally took its toll. It was a very difficult decision because of her devotion and dedication to helping children with special needs. Many teachers in this field, only teach for 5-7 years before what is commonly called “burnout” occurs and make a decision to change fields. Although it was a difficult decision, Jan decided to move to teaching 1st grade. Jan excelled in creating specialized programs to meet each individual students needs. Jan’s years of teaching special education made her an expert in identifying those children who needed special attention in various developmental stages. For those who did not know, Jan was a very creative person, which help her develop programs and tools that gave her students a sound foundation to move forward and be successful. Besides teaching the required curriculum, see made sure learning was fun and also taught her students respect for each others class mates and belongings. She worked closely with parents making sure there was clear open communication for each students needs. For people who feel teachers have it easy, did not know teachers like Jan. She worked tirelessly throughout the year making sure she was fully prepared for the next day or even the next school year. She called parents in the evening times to work with their schedules, and work till all hours of the night and early mornings until she felt she was prepared for the following day. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she also was the editor of the school year book. Her artistic creativity allowed her to publish a school year books that represented the quality of education that students received at Kilmer School. Jan was also nominated several times for the Golden Apple Award, and although she may not have been selected for the Award, being nominated was a reward in it self. Knowing she was recognized for her love for teaching, devotion and dedication. Jan represented all teachers who loved and took pride in their work and dedication in being able to provide the best foundation for our children of the future. The finest reward Jan received were students who came back later in life, as when they were in their High School and College years to thank her for taking the time to insure they had the foundation and tools they needed for succeeding later in life. I did not know of a better, more caring, detected teacher.
Jan was a very loving daughter. She worked tirelessly helping her father during his final days to make sure he was as comfortable as possible and then continued to take care of her mother, who’s health was deteriorating. She drove back and forth to Rockford 4-5 times a week to make sure her mom was getting to doctor appointments, taking her medicine and all her needs were attended to. A parent could not ask more of a loving daughter.
Away for her career, she had a fondness to be on the water. We were lucky enough to have a boat that she could Captain and use in her free time to be out on the lake, reading a book, listening to music, spending time with friends and fishing. Away from the peaceful side, she loved to water ski, and was an excellent solum skier always working on her skills to get one step better.
Jan also loved to fly, not in a plane, but through the air. She took sky diving lessons, made a number of chaperoned jumps and looked forward to one day getting her skydiving certification.
Jan was a loving, caring person with many talents, who touched many lives and will always be remembered.
Memorial gathering and services will be held 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Symonds Lakes Funeral Home 111 W. Belvidere Rd, Grayslake, IL 60030, 7:00 PM Chapel Service, Rev., John Chzran, officiating, for further funeral information please contact the funeral home 847-543-1080.
Donations care of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.