Jan Colton


A Celebration of Life for 71-year old Dr Jan Colton will on Friday, Feb 11, 2022, at 9:00 at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon, NE. 

Her remains will be interred at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD, that afternoon at 2:00 MST.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Indian College Fund at

Jan Carol Colton was born in Erie, PA, on Feb 10, 1950, and passed away on October 29, 2021, in Sierra Vista, AZ. 

Jan had a fall during late summer of 2021. When taken to the hospital by a dear neighbor, she was found to have metastatic lung cancer. 

She had been unaware that she was ill with cancer and that the cancer had spread through her body. Her family and friends are grateful that her suffering did not last more than a few months.

A graduate of the College of Wooster, Jan earned two doctorate degrees and reinvented herself throughout her life, living in Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan, New Mexico, Germany, Nebraska, Missouri, and finally Arizona. 

Her career included time as a professor in the department of speech pathology and audiology at the University of Illinois, followed by a decision to pursue dentistry, where she developed her own practice. 

Jan joined the United States Air Force as an officer in 1996 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, serving as a medical officer for more than 6 years. 

She entered the United States Public Health Service in 2003 as a Commissioned Officer and became a Captain, serving until 2014. Much of her time was at Pine Ridge, offering her dental services and leadership as a Dental Director. 

In all phases of her career, Jan focused on building relationships and serving others to the best of her ability and with the highest of integrity.

Most recently, Jan was living on a ranch in Huachuca City, AZm with her two beloved horses, Nagi and Cash, and two beloved dogs, Finn, and Kai, but she also continued to volunteer her dental services in the area. 

Jan was known as a good neighbor and dear friend. Just two weeks before her illness was discovered, Jan and a neighbor were working on filling potholes in the roads in their area. 

Jan was vibrant and strong, curious, and enthusiastic, funny, and caring. She loved her daughter Morgan, spent time in nature with animals of all kinds, and enjoyed photography. 

She was a lifelong scholar, even deciding just last year to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. Jan has friends all over the United States from her careers and lives lived.

Jan was preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy Isabel and Gordon Dudley Colton, and her brother, Gordon James Colton.

Jan is survived by her beloved daughter Morgan Reeder (Adriana Platt); her grandchildren Maggie and Will; her sister-in-law Joanne Colton; her nephews Brian Colton (Joan) and Kyle Colton (Amy); her niece Lara Colton (Abra); her two great-nephews Thomas Colton (Abigail) and John Colton; and her godson CoDee Johns. 

She is also survived by her aunt Ruth Church; her cousins Bill Burg (Theresa), Lee Burg (Joanne); and her cousins Timothy, Karen, Linda, and Kimberly.

1 thought on “Jan Colton”

  1. Jan was, also, a professor at the University is Wisconsin – River Falls in the Communication Disorders Dept.. She was an energetic, dynamic individual with a brilliance that exuded from her. I was fortunate to have had her as a professor and a friend. She touched so many people – with that she lives on. Rest In Peace dear Jan.

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