Janice lone Berghout

January 16, 1951 ~ November 9, 2021 (age 70) 

Janice Ione Berghout, our beloved sister, aunt, great-aunt, and friend passed peacefully on to her next dimension on November 9, 2021 in Midvale, Utah.   As one of her nephews, Daniel Austin wrote, Janice is a heroic soul.  She overcame a lot, led a full life, and brought light to her family and many friends.  Our hearts are broken, even while we celebrate her indomitable soul.

When our mother was carrying her second child she contracted rubella. Months later, on January 16, 1951, in Salt Lake City, an exceptionally pretty baby, Janice Ione, was born. From birth Janice was profoundly deaf, a result of congenital rubella infection.  The effects of this infection, which is now fully preventable with the administration of the MMR vaccine, created multiple physical and intellectual challenges throughout her life that limited her mobility and compromised her health; nonetheless, Janice rarely felt sorry for herself and lived a full and exuberant life.

Janice thrived under the watchful care of our parents, Richard and Oreta Rich Berghout.  As was customary at the time, when Janice was four years old, she started attending the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, a boarding school in Ogden, Utah.  This meant that during the school year she was home with her parents and sisters only on the weekends. An added challenge was that when Janice attended the School, the students were divided into those who learned ASL and those who learned to speak orally.  Janice was in the oral program, and she, along with the other oral students were punished if they tried to use ASL.  This practice compromised their inclusion in the larger deaf community but thankfully is no longer practiced today.

Janice graduated from the School at age 21 with a high school diploma.  Janice worked at a Utah company for many years until her retirement. As sisters we thank several of her supervisors for their brave advocacy of Janice.  We know it cost some of you your jobs, and we are grateful that your courage and sacrifice enabled her to receive her retirement benefits.

More than forty-four years ago Janice underwent a kidney transplant; our father was the donor.  Years later she survived several bouts of cancer.  She was stoic through it all and did everything she could to maximize her abilities and talents.

Janice traveled extensively with our parents and made friends wherever she went.   She lived in our family home with her two cats until two months ago when she moved to Beehive assisted living center.  As is true throughout her life, she made many friends at Beehive and was loved by residents and staff alike.

Janice is mourned by her sisters, Dr. Ann Austin, Linnea Rich Whitaker, and Joyce Lloyd. Her twelve nieces and nephews along with their partners and children also mourn her passing including Daniel Austin, Alicia Austin Johnson, Dr. Jared Austin, Micah Rich Austin, Dr. Mary-Mary Austin Sullivan, Paul Jones, Russell Jones, Adam Jones, Alicia Jones Springmeyer, Natalie Lloyd Dunnill, Isaac Lloyd, and Kirsten Lloyd Friedrich.  She is survived by 18 great-nieces and 5 great-nephews whom she adored and an “adopted” daughter in Kenya whom she supported for more than ten years.  She will be missed by her cats Puffy and Rocky.

Friends may greet the family Sunday November 14, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm at Goff Mortuary, 8090 South State Street, Midvale.  ASL interpreters will be present.  Services with ASL and hearing interpreters will be held Monday, November 15, 2021 at 11:00 am at the Salt Lake Valley 2nd Ward chapel, 6250 south 2200 West, Taylorsville, Utah.  Interment will take place in the Midvale Cemetery.

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