Anita “Penny” Janis


Funeral services for 84-year old Anita “Penny” Janis are Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 10:00 at the Little Wound Community Building in Kyle, SD, with the Rev JoAnn Conroy and Lay Minister Mona Vocu officiants, traditional Lakota services by Mr Jerome LeBeaux and Mr Mike Carlow, and Honor Song by Mr Spur Pourier

Burial is at St Stephen’s Catholic Cemetery in Kyle.

A one-night wake service starts Friday, Nov 5, at 2:00 at the Little Wound Community Building in Kyle.

Anita Harriet “Penny” Janis “Wahpe Luta Win” ~Red Leaf Woman~was born on August 12, 1937 in Pine Ridge, SD to Thomas Conroy, Sr. and Jeanette (Ross) Conroy. Penny made her journey to the Spirit World on October 27, 2021 at her home in Pine Ridge, SD.

Anita H. (Conroy) Janis was the oldest of 5 siblings: Tom, Alma, Joanne and Chuck. She attended school at Saint Mary’s School for Girls in her younger years and OCHS for high school, where she found the love of her life. 

Penny and Wilbert met their freshman year of 1951 during an all-school May Day Celebration; she first set eyes on him while he was playing the trumpet to usher in the Maypole dancers. 

Penny and Wilbert were in choir and many other activities while attending OCHS. Wilbert also took notice of her and would always walk her to class. 

They had a lot in common and Penny enjoyed listening to Wilbert’s stories about growing up in the Badlands, the Bombing Range and Kyle. 

They were inseparable and during their senior year, they got married at the Holy Cross Church in Pine Ridge, SD, on February 12, 1955, before graduating together later that year. 

Penny and Wilbert went on to attend Black Hills State together, both majoring in Business for two years.

Penny and Wilbert were blessed with 5 children – Arlen, Deborah, Rodney, Kayanne and Ross – and they traveled to many places together visiting family and friends.

They moved to a lot of places, from Shiprock, NM, to Farmington, NM, to Crown Point before eventually settling back home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Penny started working on the School Board and eventually became the Treasurer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 

She loved her grandkids and was always surrounded by them. She was over the moon when she started having great-grandchildren. Penny always went above and beyond for her grandchildren and everyone she loved, especially during the holidays.

Penny had been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary since the 1960s, thanks to her father Thomas Conroy Sr.

She enjoyed reminiscing about the old days of traveling with Wilbert, all the beautiful places they had seen together, and all the fun activities they did. 

She loved listening to Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Milsap, and many more. Reading was her main hobby, but when she discovered Facebook, she was in awe of being able to reconnect with old friends and family. 

Anita was loved by many and will be missed by all. 

Penny is survived by her daughters, Deborah (Ted) Cordier, Kayanne Janis, Janelle Pourier, Darlene McBride, and Lynne Pourier; sons, Arlen (Betsy) Janis, and Ross (Malita) Janis; siblings, Tom (Anne) Conroy, Terry (Joyce) Pourier, Alma Valandra, JoAnn Conroy, and Chuck (Patty) Conroy; grandchildren, Daniel, Andrea, Jason, Jarrod, Christina, Richard, Steve, Tom, Royale, Dwight, Katherine, Tamara, Priscilla, Corey, and Marcus; 30 great-grandchildren; and 9 great-great-grandchildren.

Penny was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Conroy and Jeanette (Ross) Conroy; spouse, Wilbert Janis; son, Wilbert Rodney Janis; grandparents, Ed & Harriet Ross, and John & Luta (Gerry) Conroy; grandchildren, Anita Janis and Jordan Janis; and great-great grandchild, Alexis Rose Rogers.

Pallbearers will be Daniel Janis, Jarrod Cordier, Jason Cordier, Stevie Reddy, Corey Janis, Richard Cordier, Marcus Janis, Thomas Janis, Dwight Janis, Kyle Mesteth, and Arlen Hunter.

Honorary pallbearers will be Tuffy Sierra, Don Allen, Rick Emery, Randy Emery, Bryant & Brent Burnette, Thomas Allen, Lou Conroy, Gerry Conroy, Justin Conroy, Sean Sherman, Scott Conroy, Mike Conroy, Jim Bill Ross, Ross Brothers-Chuck, Bill, Greg, and Pat, Ted Cordier, Steven Reddy, Sr., Louie Janis, Gilbert Janis, CB Pourier, Corbin Conroy, Terry Pourier, Robert Bennett, Charlie Bennett, Gerald Sherman, Black Hills Dialysis Staff of Pine Ridge, SD, Taylor Janis, Duane & Myron Janis, Alvin & Coleen Janis, Gary Garnette, Jr., TD Garnette, Friday Garnette, Barney Janis, Jackson Janis, Robin Janis, Dean Janis, Ben & Marter, James Donroy Janis, and All nieces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and relatives.

Arrangements entrusted with Sioux Funeral Home of Pine Ridge, SD