Janet Thomason Tallman, long term resident of Los Alamos, passed away at home on Friday, June 25, with family by her side, after a brief hospitalization subsequent to stroke.
Janet was born May 7, 1932, in Pomona, CA, to Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Dale and Vesta Ames Thomason, and was subsequently adopted at age 3 by Mrs. Dorothy Ames Thomason after Janet and her sister, Joan, lost their mother to cancer.
As a child, Janet lived in the small, Southern California town of San Dimas, where her father was a general practitioner. Citrus agriculture was in full swing, with more orange groves than houses. Janet was an early and adept reader, skipping 1st grade and entering 2nd grade directly. The Thomason family moved to nearby Claremont when Janet was in 7th grade. Janet graduated from Claremont High School in 1949, along with the 39 other members of her senior class. The next step for Janet was Stanford University, where she excelled at her studies and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences in 1953. Janet continued to pursue a career in social work, completing a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California in 1955 and joining the staff of Burbank Family Services.
Also in 1955, Janet first met the love of her life, a handsome young engineer named Charles Robert (Chuck) Tallman, on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. After dating for a few months, reportedly including several dinner dates featuring Janet’s delicious baking, Chuck proposed. (Janet claimed it was her apple pie with cinnamon sauce that did the trick!). Janet and Chuck were married April 22, 1956 in Claremont, CA and bought their first house in nearby Glendora, CA.
On July 22, 1957, Janet and Chuck welcomed a baby boy, Charles David (Dave) into their lives, followed by a baby girl, Janet Katherine (Kathy) in 1959. Becoming a wife and mother were very fulfilling to Janet, and she fully embraced these roles.
Janet, Chuck and their young family moved to Los Alamos in 1962, quickly falling in love with this beautiful, special mountain community that would be their home for the next 59 years. Janet became a counselor/case worker at the Los Alamos Family Council in 1965, touching many lives in her work there for more than 25 years. Her family was proud of her work outside the home, understanding the importance of Janet’s gifts to others in need.
Janet was a woman of many talents. Extended family, neighbors and friends all benefited from Janet’s talents as a seamstress. Whether it was clothing, curtains, sofas, tailored suits, teddy bears, wedding dresses, or garments for mobility-impaired friends -all challenges were accepted. Later, when Janet embraced a new role as grandmother to her 5 grandsons, she applied her expert seamstress skills to create unmatched Halloween costumes and holiday attire. Janet chaired and contributed to the “Trim the Tree” table at the annual United Church Christmas Bazaar for many years, creating, along with members of her Sewing Circle, unique and wonderful ornaments that remain part of many collections.
Janet’s culinary skills were also legend. She handled dozens of hungry congregation members with aplomb. From United Church’s “Wednesday Night Suppers” to Beaver Creek Youth Camp, Janet had a knack for seamlessly scaling home favorites to serve a crowd. Well known around town as the “The Cookie Lady,” she prepared dozens of treats for weekly Los Alamos Barber Shop rehearsals, Los Alamos Choral Society, Monday Night Volleyball, and other church/community events. Understanding the importance of food and fellowship, Janet also organized small groups (with son Dave’s assistance) for the United Church-based “Lunch Bunch” for more than 2 decades, until a COVID-related pause was taken last year.
Janet was particularly sensitive to the needs of children and teenagers, serving as Board member, Board Director and Mentor/volunteer for Jemez House for boys and Casa Mesita for girls. Newspaper articles from this time mention Janet’s involvement in organizing scholarships and activities for group home youth, through thrift shop and direct donations. More recently, Janet was a regular member of the United Church Thrift Shop support team, whose profits benefit a host of local charities.
Janet is remembered for her beautiful sunny smile and loving spirit. She will be deeply missed by her family and many friends.
Janet was preceded in death by her father, Sidney Dale Thomason, mother Dorothy Ames Thomason, and cousin Robert William Thomason.
She is survived by her husband Chuck, son Dave, daughter Kathy Landschulz, sister Joan Thomason Scott, and grandsons Will, David, and Andy Landschulz, and Isaac and Daniel Tallman.
The family requests that donations can be made in Janet’s honor to the Los Alamos Family Council. A Celebration of Life service is being planned with date and time to be announced.
Janet is in the gentle care of Rivera Family Funeral Home of Los Alamos. Please visit www.riverafamilyfuneralhome.com to share condolences for the family, upload pictures, or share stories.
Update: The family of Janet Tallman has decided on services for Saturday, July 17 at 2 pm at the United Church of Los Alamos.