Cover photo for Janis Wagner Truelsen's Obituary
Janis Wagner Truelsen Profile Photo
1956 Janis 2023

Janis Wagner Truelsen

June 28, 1956 — September 6, 2023


On September 6, 2023, Janis Wagner Truelsen passed away peacefully in her sleep after a fierce, years-long battle with cancer.  She spent her final days in a beautiful hospice home that she envisioned was a spa.

Janis’s husband of 34 years, Lance, had passed away less than two weeks earlier of cancer that he kept hidden from both Janis and his daughter, Debie.  He was Janis’s caregiver for many years and his selflessness will always be remembered and appreciated.

Janis Ann was born on June 28, 1956 to Helen and F. Leonard Wagner in south New Jersey.  Her 10-year old sister, Carole, was ecstatic to finally have a sibling!  Unfortunately, their father died when was Janis was only 16 months old.  Eventually, her mother re-married to Stanley Matysik who was a wonderful father, and, who, many years later was a caregiver to her mother.

In 1982, Janis moved to southern California to be near her sister.  That’s where she met Lance. They married in 1989 and moved to San Jose. Lance’s work took them to England for a few years, then to Setauket, New York on Long Island, finally moving back to the San Jose area, and Morgan Hill.

Janis’s passion was interior design!  During her time in England she enrolled at the Inchbald School of Design where she honed her skills.  In each of her homes, whenever they moved, she created a beautiful atmosphere, especially emphasizing her love of sheep, monkeys, and other animals. 

Janis was, perhaps, even more passionate about her love of Chopper, their mixed breed Chihuahua dog.  Debie, who had been caring for Chopper since the passing of her father and Janis’s hospitalization, brought Chopper to visit Janis in hospice and they spent a peaceful afternoon sleeping together.  Unbelievably, Chopper passed naturally the night before Janis.

Janis was one of the founders of the Morgan Hill Dog Park and, with Lance, worked to make this a great place for the entire community of dog lovers.  A plaque was installed in the park in memory of Janis, Lance, and Chopper.  

Janis is survived by her sister, Carole Wagner Vallianos, her brother-in-law, Peter; her nephew, Denis; her nieces, Kelly and Jamie; great-niece, Eleni; her nephews, Peter and Noa Vallianos; and Liam, Logan, and Drew Vallianos-Healy.  She is also survived by Lance’s daughter, Debie.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janis Wagner Truelsen, please visit our flower store.


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