In Memory

Janice Holtorf (Hirsch) - Class Of 1967

Janice Holtorf (Hirsch)

1950 - 2014


Jan was born March 21, 1950, in Agana, Guam, to parents Lt. Col. Arthur Miles Holtorf and Marilyn Jean (Lee). She was the oldest of three children and big sister to Paul Christian and Charles Arthur. As the daughter of a military father, Jan moved around during her youth, spending time in Japan where she attended JHS and returned to the States.  Early on she picked up the hobby of horseback riding. She admittedly disliked exercise, but dutifully exercised her horses in western and English riding. She graduated from Pullman High School in Pullman in 1967 and enrolled at Washington State University where she pledged the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. 

 After a couple of years in college, she took a hiatus to start a family with her husband, Delwood Hirsch. She moved to the Midwest and began what would become a lifelong career in the legal field as a legal assistant in Grand Rapids, Minn. She moved back to Pullman in 1980 and proceeded to raise two children, daughter, Kelsey Lynn, and son, Troy William, as a single mother and became a very active supporter of WSU Cougar athletics. She spent many Saturdays rooting for the Cougs on the football field and basketball court, both in person and on TV. She would even set her cell phone ring tone to the Washington State fight song, bringing smiles to the faces of all who heard it (except for Husky fans).

Wanting more for herself, and her children, she returned to WSU to complete her bachelor's degree while working full time. She graduated in 1989 and promptly took, and passed, the LSAT. In 1990, she enrolled at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., at the age of 40. Jan earned her JD in 1993 and began practicing employment and labor law. After working for a couple of law firms and meeting some great people and great clients, Jan took another professional step forward and went out on her own in 2006. She started her own practice and said she was never happier.

She also provided joy to her father as his primary caregiver for nearly three years. Jan enjoyed many hours on her porch visiting with friends and family and served on several community organizations including AGD, Rotary, Rosarians and her HOA board. Upon her own cancer diagnosis in August of 2013, Jan vowed to fight - just as she had fought for a better life for her and her children. Her fight ended peacefully in Lake Oswego, Ore., on the morning of Oct. 16, 2014, with family by her side.

Jan is survived by her two brothers; two children; two grandchildren, Christopher and Nicole; two nieces, Ashley and Molly; and two nephews, Miles and Mason.

A celebration of her life will take place at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego. A private funeral service will be held later in Mount Shasta, Calif. Jan supported many civic organizations and charities and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Lines for Life.

The Johnson High alumni will miss Jan very much.