JANICE LEE QUIRAMFebruary 10, 1947 ~ October 7, 2017 (age 70)
QUIRAM, Janice Lee (Jan)
With profound sadness, the family of Jan Quiram, of Jamaica Plain, MA, announce her sudden death on October 7, 2017. With her husband by her side, Jan suffered a massive heart attack. She was 70 years young and she is survived by her husband, Jim Kilmurray, son Michael, daughter-in-law Cristina Necula, brother Dr. Lyle Quiram and wife Jo, of Plainview, MN, and her godson, Luis McGuill-Scott as well as her MN, CO, and FL, family, Jim’s family in CA, OR, TX, Scotland, and England, and a close circle of dear, long-time friends known as her “Boston Family”.
The burial service will be private. A public memorial service celebrating Jan’s life will be held at the Arlington Street Church Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 4 PM. LOCATION: 351 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116.
Jan made an impact on people throughout her life. She was raised on a small family farm in Elysian, MN, by Paul and Eldora Quiram (Meyer), with her brother Lyle, ten years elder. Jan moved with her family at the age of 16 to St. Peter, MN. Jan graduated St. Peter High School in 1965. From there she attended college, first at Bemidji State University then graduating the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities in 1968, where she met her best friend, Kate Novak.
Jan was a member of a pilot Peace Corps program that allowed her to serve as a VISTA Volunteer in New Mexico between her junior and senior year in college. Upon graduating, she would go onto serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, Central America. While there, she met her husband-to-be who served in an adjoining town as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Married in Old North Church in the North End, Boston, MA, in 1974, they celebrated their 43rd anniversary this past June.
Together in El Salvador from 1968-1970, Jan and Jim moved to Bogota, Colombia after Jim finished his Peace Corps service. Then, from Colombia, Jan moved to Boston for her Masters at Northeastern University and Jim to University of Pittsburgh for his. They both moved back to Colombia in 1976. In 1978 they adopted their son and returned to Jamaica Plain for good.
Jan’s friend Kate, from college, was in Boston as well. Together their families became the basis for what was to become the “Boston Family”. Along with several other couples, non-native to the Boston area, they celebrated holidays together. Now the Boston Family spans several generations, with pets too.
Jan started her professional life as a social worker in Boston during the early-and-mid 1970’s. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Jan worked extensively in the behavioral healthcare field. She worked for The Mentor Network as VP of the Northeast Region. She often consulted and during the 1990’ she ran her consulting business full-time. From the late-1990’s through the early-2000’s, Jan was Senior VP of Human Resources for the Brown Schools in Austin, TX, where she would commute we for weekly many years. Jan finished her career working for the Substance Abuse Bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission until her retirement in 2012.
In retirement, she and her husband would travel to Colombia and Puerto Rico every few years. In between those, they ventured to Southeast Asia in 2015. Earlier this year, after living six weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, they took a three week safari visiting four southern African countries.
True to her nature, she continued to volunteer and consult. Jan and Jim sang in their local multigenerational choir, Neighborhood Rocks Choir in Jamaica Plain. She was active at the MIRA Coalition, translating Spanish for immigration legal services. As a volunteer reading tutor, Jan read weekly to a young neighbor as part of her lifelong commitment to youth literacy. Jan also found time for at least two weekly games of bridge, both with longtime friends as well as with neighbors at Curtis Hall, the local community center.
Jan made friends wherever she went and she kept these friends once made. Jan always stayed intimately connected with each generation of her and her husband’s family, though thousands of miles away.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, please consider a donation in Jan Qiuram’s name to:
*Mass Immigrant and Refugee and Advocacy: https://www.miracoalition.org/get-involved
*Victory Programs, Inc.: https://www.vpi.org/donate-now/