Lyle Lionel Janz Jr.
December 1, 1929 – April 24, 2020
Born to Lyle L. Janz Sr. and Barbara (Simmons) Janz on December 1st, 1929 in Tacoma WA. Family Heritage is notable for: Barbara’s mother, Effie Comstock Simmons: 1st female state legislator from Multnomah County, co-founder of the Oregon League of Women Voters, founding member and president of the Oregon State Suffrage Alliance. Her family arrived in America in 1637.
His mother’s father, Clayton Simmons (later divorced from Effie) was related to the Simmons mattress company. His family arrived in Plymouth in 1621. His father’s relatives came across the Oregon Trail and settled in Silverton, OR. in 1845. Lyle was raised for a few years in Detroit MI until his family returned to Oregon where they built a home on Riverwood Rd. in Portland.
Lyle was followed by a sister Carol Zell who passed recently and brother Richard Janz who lives with his wife Cathy in Clackamas OR. Lyle Sr. ran the local Better Business Bureau in Portland for many years, Barbara worked at City Hall in Lake Oswego. Lyle Jr. attended Central Catholic and Lincoln high schools in Portland while working at KGW radio as a messenger.
After graduating high school Lyle attended the University of Oregon where he met Marilyn Hillman whose father owned Hillman Studebaker in Portland. Marilyn’s twin sister Betty had been dating and would marry fellow Phi Delt, Rod Slade. Lyle graduated with a BA from the U of O in 1952.
Marilyn and Lyle were married on August 18, 1951 in Portland. Lyle enlisted in the Air Force and served as 2nd Lt., stationed with Marilyn in Lerado TX for 2 years. The couple then returned to Portland where Lyle was hired by the Trust Dept. of the US Bank in 1954. After earning a JD in Law from Northwestern College of Law in 1958, he was promoted to a Trust Officer in 1964.
Daughter, Kathy Simmons Janz, later Kathy Girod was born in 1956 and lives with her husband Curt in Philadelphia. Son, Robert Hillman Janz was born in 1961 and lives in Portland.
Lyle left the US Bank at age 53 and enjoyed a long and comfortable retirement. He and Marilyn spent their time traveling between homes in Portland, Palm Springs and the coast of Washington State where Betty and Marilyn shared a house, a legacy of Amanda Hillman.
Even though the Hillman twins would often be living in separate places the two families shared the Gay cabin, in Ocean Park, WA. Built in 1896 and purchased by their family in the 1940s, it was sold in the 1990s. The Gay provided the hearth of the family’s love for life at the beach and remains a reserve of rich memories, many centering around Lyle’s creative spark. Watching the evolution of this home and many others over the years provided a window into the designs that Lyle would transform from his imagination into woodworking works of art. No matter where he was Lyle was creating a more beautiful world.
Marilyn and Lyle were married for over 69 years and shared a rare bond that carried them through the challenges of growing old together. Marilyn survives Lyle and continues to live in their home at the Mirabella in Portland.
Lyle looked for humor in life as well as beauty. A quick wit, a deep infectious laugh, relaxed sarcasm and unspoken affection made Lyle deeply engaging and endearing. He leaves a legacy of a rich and generous life lived for his family who will keep him in their hearts always. Donations in remembrance of Lyle can be made to either: PathwayOregon Scholarship Program Duck Athletic Fund (listed under Additional Options) Found here: UofO Donations or: University of Oregon Foundation Gift Services 1720 E. 13th Avenue, Suite 410 Eugene, OR 97403-2253 541.302.0337