Janice L. “Jan” Doherty

Jan Doherty, 82, of Salina, KS, died at her home early in the morning of March 25, 2024 shortly after receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Born Janice Louise Schreuder on February 18, 1942, she was the eldest daughter of Lloyd and Lois Ruth (Browning) Schreuder. Jan, as she was known, spent her childhood in Cawker City, KS, graduating with the Cawker City High School class of 1960. She went on to attend Kansas State University and Clark’s School of Business in Topeka, KS. As a student at KSU, Jan was a charter member of Smurthwaite Scholarship House and lived in Memorial Stadium during her first semester while construction finished up on the house. Her studies there and in Topeka led to a long career as a legal assistant, including time spent working with the Department of Justice in Topeka and later Denver, CO.  After returning to Salina, she went to work for Kennedy, Berkley, Yarnevich, and Williamson, where she worked for 28 years until her retirement in 2007.

Jan ensured that each of her nieces and nephews had an appreciation for Broadway musicals (particularly Cats), experienced weekends being spoiled in Kansas City, and a knowledge that her home would always be open to whoever had the door code.  In addition, Jan was a talented watercolor artist and seamstress. Her ability to recreate any dress her nieces could dream up ensured each wore a truly one of a kind gown to prom. She created wedding dresses for women throughout the area and was known for her keen eye and attention to detail. Her watercolors remain on our walls as reminders of her talent. Jan enjoyed numerous trips to NY and Europe with her sister and enjoyed a good glass of wine from time to time. While on trips, it was obvious that she never met a stranger. She frequently told her life story to folks from every walk of life, even if they didn’t speak a lick of English. This skill led to friendships with people from all over the world

Jan was preceded in death by her parents, sister Peggy Ann Schlaefli, grandparents Peter and Tracie (Folger) Schreuder and Earl and Bertha (Orr) Browning, husbands Clifford M. Steck, Charles F. Wilkerson, and Wendall L. Doherty. Jan is survived by her sister Connie (Jim) Hocking, Brookville, nieces and nephews Kim (Mark) Viets, Girard, Jennie Hocking, Texas, Bill Schlaefli, Cawker City, Pete (Sara) Hocking, Brookville, Susan (Tony) Elting, Hebron, NE, and Jillian (Kalyn) Hocking, Kalamazoo, MI. Stepchildren Susan Rogers, Texas, and Kathy Sapp, Minnesota. Also left with timeless memories of their Aunt Jan are her ten great nieces and nephews, step grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jan loved her family deeply and accepted each of us for who we became, always encouraging and holding her hand out to grab when we needed a lift up. She was humble, giving, and kind. She would have hated this obituary, but probably still would have cut it out and kept it in a book for us to find.

Honoring Jan’s request, she was cremated and there will be no services. Her dear cat Jake joined her in the afterlife, and together they will be interred at Prairie Grove Cemetery, Cawker City, KS at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Theatre Salina or Salina Symphony, in care of Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. Eighth St, Salina, KS 67401. For more information or to leave condolences go to www.ryanmortuary.com