Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home

4525 Bissonnet St, Bellaire, TX


Thomas Jay Janson

October 12, 1949January 24, 2020

Thomas (Tom) Jay Janson, born October 12, 1949 in La Grange, TX, died unexpectedly but peacefully on January 24, 2020 at his home in Houston, TX. After attending Robert E. Lee High School, Tom earned degrees from Rice University and the University of Texas Dental Branch. He was a dentist by profession and personality and proudly sustained a private dental practice in the Houston area from 1975 until his death. In 1986, he accepted an invitation to “stay for dinner” after helping a Scout with a merit badge and a year later married Linda who extended the invitation, a marriage that would last 32 years until his death. His daughter Katherine was born in 1987. Tom was deeply committed to the fabric of the local community. His love for music led to decades of singing in church choirs at St. Martin’s Lutheran and New Hope Lutheran. He was active with the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle and serving as an adult leader for many years with Troop 549. His years of service to the South End Optimist Club reflected his belief that people are inherently good, the universe is a kind place, and God is loving. His patients, many of whom came to him for years or even decades, described him as always upbeat, smiling, and skilled. He shared his love of dry British humor and television shows with his children. He was gabby and loquacious and never missed a chance to chat with friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers. Those who knew him loved him for his sense of humor, approachability, thoughtfulness, and ceaseless kindness. He used his unending curiosity to instill a love of science and exploration in his children. He assumed the best in others and was quick to offer a smile and a kind word. He lived a charmed life and will be missed greatly. Tom is preceded in death by his parents, James and Imogene Janson. In addition to his wife Linda, he leaves behind his daughter Katherine Janson Merilo (Aleks) of Tacoma, WA; his step-daughter Jennifer Baird Humberson (Karl) of Richmond, VA; his step-son Justus Baird (Julie Roth) of Princeton, NJ; his brothers Leslie Janson (Judy) and Mike Janson (Janet) of Houston, one grandson Arden and five step-grandchildren, Calvin, Mathew, Ilan, Rafael and Noa. A Memorial Service will be held at New Hope Lutheran Church, 1424 FM 1092 Rd, Missouri City, TX 77459, on Saturday, February 1, at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Boy Scout Troop 549. Checks may be written to “BSA Troop 549” and mailed to: BSA Troop 549 c/o ChristChurch Presbyterian, 5001 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX 77401.


  • James Janson, Father (deceased)
  • Imogene Janson, Mother (deceased)
  • Katherine Janson Merilo, Daughter
  • Linda Janson, Spouse
  • Justus Nathan Baird IV, Step-Son
  • Jennifer Baird Humberson, Step-Daughter


  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 1, 2020


Thomas Jay Janson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Don MacGorman

February 8, 2020

While on vacation with my family, I found out that my friend of many years, Tom Janson, died unexpectedly in his sleep a few days ago. He was my roommate one year at Rice University and a year later was the best man at my wedding. It may give you a sense of his humor to tell you that, whenever I told him he was a good man, as had been our custom when receiving help, he would always remind me with a grin after my wedding that, no, he was my BEST man.

Of people I know, he best personified one whose mind dwells on things that are good, true, or beautiful. It was not that he was never angry or sad. But those occasions were infrequent and short lived. Instead he delighted in thoughtful conversation, intriguing ideas, and generosity of deeds and spirit and had a ready smile. He was a good friend in every sense of the word.

After college we contacted each other only infrequently, although more recently we followed each other’s lives a bit more on Facebook. I always enjoyed seeing him again on those rare occasions when I returned to Houston, but now I will see him no more.

I miss you, Tom.

Kim Gavens

February 1, 2020

.I was very shocked to learn about Tom. My dad, Hank Gavens, was a member of SEOC with Tom for many years and he thought alot of Tom! Tom was always kind and genuine! I remember seeing Tom and some of the other Optimist members at the Southwest theater for a play last year and I will always remember his smile!He was always so delightful! Please accept our deep sympathy for all of your family at this difficult time. I will keep you all in our prayers!💜💙💛❤💚
Kim Gavens (For Donna & Hank Gavens too)

Mark Perin

January 31, 2020

Tom will be missed. I first sang with Tom as a fellow tenor in our church choirs until my voice changed to bass, but his didn’t. Through the years I recognized his true and deep interest in other folks lives as he had information and stories about so many current and past members of our church families. At our Adult Forum Class Tom often provided a one-line observation that led to laughter or left you scratching your head about the deep dimension of his longer thoughts. My hope is his new home provides for good conversation and outlets for his concern for others.

Bruce Baker

January 31, 2020

Tom was very encouraging to me in high school.

He was my Senior Patrol LEader at a troop that met on Beekman Street near M. L. K. (which was South Park back then.

So we went to Elementary school well at the same school, Peck Elementary, high school at Lee and then college at Rice.

Taymour Khan

January 30, 2020

One of the greatest friends and dentist I have ever known. He had a way of making you feel so special. He had a unique friendship with his patients and connected on such a personal level.

I looked forward to every cleaning and am so grateful for having had the opportunity to know him. He had a unique way of capturing your attention with his hobbies, always reading something new.

Many times while cleaning my teeth, he would hand me a mirror and let me watch. He’d give me tips and tricks for dentistry, some of latest in care, and use actual medical terminology when talking.

A family friend for over 40 years. Thank you for being my friend and for all of the advice you’ve given me. I will miss you terribly, Dr. Janson.

I will cherish the e-mails we wrote to each other.

Patty Meier

January 30, 2020

I loved how Tom chuckled with his voice and his eyes. I remember him well from New Hope and recall his speaking of a gathering where people would come and sing The Messiah together, no rehearsal, just come and sing. His voice has joined the best chorus alive. He will be missed here on Earth.

Bruce Baker

January 30, 2020

Tom was my senior scout leader at the boy scout troop over at Church on Beekman street near South Park (now Martin Luther King).
He was a compassionate leader.

Bruce Baker

January 30, 2020

In high school he encouraged me to take the ACS test. I scored top in school and 6th in the city. He knew of the opportunity, I did not. He believed me when I said I knew chemistry. I think no one else did.

John Tipton

January 30, 2020

Tom always took the time to visit about our children and ask about their progress in school and military. Would always share concern if world events could have an impact Phil. He truly cared and we will miss him dearly.

-John and Karen Tipton

Cindy and Don Anderson

January 30, 2020

We are saddened to learn of Tom's passing. It's been many years since our paths have crossed, but we remember him as a caring and compassionate person, he will be missed by many. Prayers of peace and comfort for Linda and his family.