Jan Stover - Illinois State Representative

Genevieve A. Suzuki, Representative for the state of Hawai'i

Jan Stover

About Illinois Representative Stover:

In 1996 my mother, Hazel Jones, and I began publishing a regional magazine for Senior Citizens. To guide us, we formulated a "Purpose and Intent" for our publication's content and direction. It read as follows: "Welcome to The Senior Review - an area magazine dedicated to celebrating and enhancing today's Senior life-styles. At the heart of our magazine is the desire to entertain, inform and honor Senior Citizens from all walks of life - blending life's ups and downs, passions and pitfalls, opportunities and obstacles onto our pages - discussing life in all its dimensions. We plan to bring a sense of life's continuity to our writing as well - combining past, present and future.... all for your reviewing in The Senior Review." We loved the many opportunities the publication provided us and were sorry to sell the magazine in 1999 due to the difficulties I was experiencing after being diagnosed with viral meningitis. As my health returned, my mother and I began writing again and for a time had a radio talk show called "Round the Table with Hazel and Jan" which eventually evolved into our current website (www.roundthetable.net) as well as a book entitled "Potpourri of Memories" - all of which featured the importance of enjoying family and preserving family memories.

Recently I received my instructor's certification through the Arthritis Foundation to teach both Aquatic and Land Exercise Programs. I teach the classes 3 days a week at Francis Physical Therapy in Vandalia and plan to continue my training in the Fall with the Foundation's Tai Chi Exercise Program. I also lead a monthly Arthritis Support Group Meeting. The classes are wonderful not only for the physical aspects of health, but the friendship and emotional support they offer are a genuine benefit to those attending!

Now on a more personal note, I have been married to my husband, Don, for 24 years this October and we have two sons - Zac, age 21, and Gabe, age 17. We have lived in Greenville, IL for the past 16 years and during 9 of those years, I was a Homeschooling Mom. I loved sharing those special years with my boys in such a unique way. My brother, Jeff, and his wife, Deb, own The Sunshine House Health Food Store in Vandalia, IL and both Zac and Gabe worked one day a week in the business as part of their homeschooling experience. Many valuable lessons are learned serving the public in such a fashion.

I look forward to my upcoming experiences as the Illinois State Representative for Grandparents Day and invite you to read the following short story I have included about my own wonderful Grandparents.

A Granddaughter's Memories ... My Grandmothers

I have my Grandma Jones' name, high hips, bad knees and her ability (so I've been told) to stretch a meal for as many unexpected guests that just happen to walk through the door right at dinner time. She died when I was three, but the house she left behind - the house she made a home - taught me much about the woman she was and the life she lived and loved. Yes, things have come to me from her by way of stories and genetics ... real and substantial nonetheless.

I have my Grandma Crawford's strong will, determination and taste - much of which I acquired from actually knowing her. I was fortunate to have her in my life until I was thirty. She painted my fingernails, made clothes for me and my dolls, wrote me letters while I was at camp, made tiny pumpkin pies just for us kids on Thanksgiving, danced at my wedding and called my first born son "her little man". She saw me grow up. I saw her grow old. And we loved each other throughout the many stages of our lives.

These were my Grandmothers ... talented, wise women ... keepers of the family flame. I give thanks for their good genes, their loving hearts and these unforgettable memories.

A Granddaughter's Memories ... My Grandfathers

I got my dimple, the family legacy of publishing and a "pinching bug" from my Grandpa Jones. You see, Grandpa was co-owner and co-publisher of the Vandalia Union, a Vandalia, Illinois newspaper, for many years He was also friends with a pinching bug ... actually they were one and the same. You see, every time I sat on his lap, that darn "bug" would pinch me. I could even catch Grandpa in the act, see his fingers set to pinch, and he'd still deny that it was him. "No sir," he'd say smiling, "That was the pinching bug!" He could make a mean batch of home made ice cream, had an oscillating fan that forever oscillated, and was never quite the same after Grandma died.

Grandpa Crawford was a tall, thin man. (No, I unfortunately did not get the "tall-thin" gene in my genetic make up) He loved westerns, politics and all of his many grandkids. He could debate "with the best of them"- sharp, quick and opinionated. I remember many a family holiday dinner ending with some lively political debate. I love discussing politics to this day! He worried about the safety of my eyes when I got contact lenses, was proud of me when I was elected cheerleader and washed dishes long before Women's Lib told him it was the thing to do.

These were my grandfathers ... honorable men in a time when honor meant so much; capable men in their chosen careers, and loving men who have left me with a collection of memories I will always cherish.

-- Jan Stover    


National Grandparents Day:
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