Janice “Buzzie” Minor lost her battle with ovarian cancer on May 12, 2012.
She worked in the School of Art, Design, and Art history for her entire 34-year career at SDSU. In that time she worked with three deans and six chairs/directors. She had friends and contacts at all levels at SDSU; many noted that she kept the school running throughout personnel changes, budget fluctuations and curriculum modifications.
A native San Diegan, Janice graduated from Mount Miguel High School in 1969, attended Grossmont College, and was a recreation major at SDSU. She was a member of the Chargers cheer squad -- performing on the field for two years, and serving as the director of the squad for four years.
She played soccer competitively for 30 years and served as the president and on the board of the Pacific Women’s Soccer League. She was a 20-year member of the La Mesa Soroptomist Club, serving as president and in various capacities on the Board of Directors.
“You know the Shel Silverstein book The Giving Tree? Janice was like that tree,” said Jess Dominguez, SDSU faculty emeriti and colleague and friend of Janice. “She just gave and gave.”
Janice Minor's Plaque of Service
Dominguez met Janice in 1975, a year after she started working for SDSU, and a year before Dominguez became affiliated with SDSU. He recalls stories of Janice water-bombing art school directors from the fifth floor of the art building, arranging ice cream socials for the faculty and staff, and always ensuring that the school was in fine running order. According to Dominguez, she brought a sense of fun and good humor to every day.
“Janice was inherently kind, compassionate, selfless and caring,” said former (and soon to be) director of the School of Art, Design, and Art History John Gordon. “She was never too busy to hear someone out – even if she’d heard it all before (or even many, many times before). Yet, nobody who knew her would ever call her saint; she enjoyed life too much to qualify for sainthood.”
Ollie Zinn called Janice, “a woman of character, always and oftentimes painfully honest. People respected her highly.” Zinn said that Janice was the glue that held the school together in times of flux – loving her job, patient, helpful and knowledgeable. When Janice retired in 2008, it became clear how good she was at her job when others realized that she had been spoiling them and always had the answer to student or faculty questions – or at least knew whom to contact.
Without exception, peers, colleagues, and friends all mention Janice’s positive and generous spirit. “She always made me feel like I was her best friend,” said Dominguez.
In 2010, Janice was honored by Mortar Board. The award recognizes retired administrators, faculty and staff who have given generously of themselves to the university, its students and the community. Her name is on a plaque in the Mortar Board Tree Grove outside the library.
The School of Art, Design, and Art History also honored Janice with a plaque upon her retirement in 2008. That plaque hangs in the courtyard of the art building.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents Ray and Betty Minor. She is survived by her husband of 29 years, Jim Langford and his family, her brother, her sister and six nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life is being planned in Janice’s honor. It is scheduled for Sunday, September 9, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. To help plan appropriately, please RSVP to email@example.com.