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Kirk Osborne Janson

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“I am saddened by the loss of Kirk. He was a truly kind and compassionate man. We enjoyed playing pool together although I could never seem to win a...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Ralf Ostertag - Portage, MI

“Rebecca, Deborah and Tristin: I'm thinking of you all and wished that I could be there with you at this time, but I was so happy to be able to watch...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Kim Castetter Burrows - NY

“thinking of Kirk with love and sending my family my love and support. I love you. ”
3 of 6 | Posted by: Leigh Cooke - Montreal, AL

“Dear Deborah, David, Sidonie, Rebecca and Tristin, Thank you for the photos of Kirk and the Janson family. They are a tribute to him and to your...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Teresa Tritch - Pasadena, CA

“Dear Kirk Janson Family,Please accept our sympathy regarding Kirk. Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time. May all your happy memories...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Barbara & Jim Fields - IL

“So sorry for the loss of Kirk. My heart goes out to family and friends. ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Jane Waldeck - Kalamazoo, MI

Music Emblem

Kirk Janson, 72, of Kalamazoo, passed away on January 23, 2021. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 22, 1949 to Rama (Kirkwood) Janson and Donald Janson. He was preceded in death by his sister, Lynn Janson, and is survived by sisters Rebecca Janson and Deborah Janson, brother-in-law David Roth, nieces Tristin Janson and Sidonie Roth-Janson, and numerous cousins, step-children, step-grandchildren, and friends.

Kirk was generous, loyal, wise, fun, kind, and humorous. He loved puns, loved love, and loved people. Born into a musical family, Kirk was encouraged by his grandmother and mother to learn the piano, which became a life-long passion. He also enjoyed singing and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church choir in Kalamazoo for many years. In his youth, he was an avid tennis player. He taught his sister Deborah table tennis—never failing to give her a 5-point advantage at the start of each game. He was also an excellent pool player—a skill that he passed on to his niece, Tristin. He liked to maintain that whenever necessary he could operate as a full-blown, street-smart pool shark. He had compassion for the difficulties that others faced and enjoyed many diverse friendships.

Kirk enjoyed taking long drives, sometimes ending up in South Haven to watch the sunset at the beach, mint chocolate-chip ice cream cone in hand. He liked to play classic rock-n-roll loudly in his car while driving. He liked pushing himself to exercise. He resembled a "Ferdinand"-type character in that he migrated toward beautiful settings, replete with light, flora and wildlife. A generally relaxed man, Kirk enjoyed sitting back in a comfy chair and chatting with visitors on his porch, cat in lap. Conversations with Kirk could wax philosophical, yet he expressed his far-reaching ideas with a smile and a twinkle in his eyes.

In many ways, Kirk was a gentleman, the kind of person with whom one could speak without fear of being judged and who exhibited trust and faith in others. Kirk believed in valuing people's good qualities and forgiving those who hurt him. He maintained a sense of optimism even though his life experiences taught him a lot about the darker side of human nature.

Kirk liked to re-visit places that provided him with fond memories. We trust that he will visit our hearts from time to time, where he will forever have a home.

You may want to visit the following YouTube link with photos of Kirk and family and friends:

Friends will be received 12:00-12:55 p.m. Friday, February 19, 2021at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, 9170 East D Avenue, Richland, MI 49083, where a service to celebrate Kirk's life will be officiated by Rev. Dr. Mark W. Jennings 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 19, 2021. Committal and interment will follow at Prairie Home Cemetery in Richland.

The service will be livestreamed and may be viewed at or you may also view it on the Farley Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home Facebook page. We ask that social distancing be maintained and facemasks as appropriate.

Personal messages for the family may be placed at
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to Lending Hands: Personal messages for the family may be placed here at

Pretending You Back (a poem for Kirk)

I'm looking at a photo of us, your arm around my shoulder, a smile on your face

Even though the picture was made in a sad time.

In my yard, tall winter grasses sound like wings in the wind

Pretending they're birds.

My maple tree spreads long arms of shadow across the dusky snow

Pretending it's human.

I stand in the drifts by the maple and grass

Pretending you back,

Your arm on my shoulder,

A smile on your face.

- Rebecca Janson, February 2021