Jan Rae Purdy
July 11, 1937 – September 26, 2019
Jan Rae Purdy (born Jane Helena Purdy) was born in Michigan to Frederick and Irma Purdy. She had an older sister, Sally, and a younger brother, William. Jane grew up in Lathrup Village and graduated from Southfield High School. At age 16, Jan Rae (her stage name) won her first operatic singing contest with the Detroit Metropolitan Opera. This began her lifetime career of singing opera, as a coloratura soprano. Jan married Norman Robert Rapp in 1958. Throughout her career, she had endless accolades from many people and organizations. Jan sang for President Ford and the first astronauts during her career and later became a voice and piano teacher.
At age 50, she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts in Music from Madonna College. Jan had two daughters, Lisa Anne Rapp and Lynda Rae Rapp and one grandson, Joshua Norman Rapp. In 2014, Jan moved to California to be closer to her daughters and grandson and remained there for the rest of her life. She will be missed.