OBITUARY: Janis Warren (April 24, 1946 – April 8, 2007)

By |2018-01-16T08:44:29-05:00April 12th, 2007|News|

Community ally and proud mother of a gay son, Janis Warren died April 24 following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 60.
A certified public accountant, Warren received a bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan State University. She taught for some years and, later, continued with accounting studies at Walsh College.
A lifetime member of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Warren was secretary and an active member of the sisterhood board of Temple Beth El, where she also participated in the choir.
Warren was a member and supporter of various causes including the Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition, Lambda Legal, the Triangle Foundation, Human Rights Campaign and the Inclusivity Committee at Temple Beth El.
“Janis was a fervent supporter of human rights and a progressive ally who was dedicated to political change,” said Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for Triangle Foundation. “She was there with us to the bitter end always and could always be counted on by our community to carry the torch as an ally. She was an amazing woman. Her death is a tragic loss to Michigan.”
As determined as she was, Warren, friends say, also had a soft side.
“I met Janis when she became a member of the ECHO (Educating our Community about Homosexuality thru Outreach) committee of MJAC,” recalled Linda Lee. “She quietly integrated into the committee and then became a member of the MJAC board.
“Although I did not know Janis outside of our common communal work, I was proud of her commitment to her son who happened to be gay,” Lee continued. “The last time I saw her, she was going through her second bout with cancer and was under treatment. She indicated that her son was relocating to New York from San Francisco, and I told her about my nephew who also lived in Manhattan. Being two Jewish mothers, we gave the two young men each other’s respective numbers, so that my nephew might introduce Michael to some of his friends in the gay community.”
Married for 38 years, Warren is survived by her husband Larry, two sons, one daughter and a grandchild. Services for Warren took place on Wednesday at the Ira Kaufman Chapel. The family has suggested that those who wish to further honor Warren’s memory make a donation to either Lambda Legal or the Human Rights Campaign.

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.