Janet Young Corton, of Green Valley, died on March 15. She was 94.
Janet was born on July 6, 1926, in Patterson, N.J., to David Young and Florence Anderson Young. David Young died in 1930. Her mother married Parke Robinson Elmer in 1933, and they lived in Ridgewood, N.J. and New York City.
Janet graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1943 and attended Averett College (now Averett University) in Danville, Va. and studied liberal arts. Janet was interested in audiology and enrolled in a summer course at the University of Iowa in the summer of 1944. There she met her life partner, Richard (Dick) Van Metre Corton, who was a medical student at the University. Dr. Corton completed his internship at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, enabling the couple to see each other on the weekends. Janet worked as an audiologist for Dr. Julius Lempert at the Lempert Institute of Otology in New York City.
Janet married Dr. Corton on Dec. 14, 1946, in Ridgewood, NJ. They settled in Knoxville, Iowa, where Dr. Corton practiced medicine at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. The couple also lived in Fargo, N.D., Albany, N.Y. and eventually settled in Elkins, W.Va., where their first child was born.
In 1952, the couple moved to Waterloo, Iowa, Dr. Corton's hometown. Janet devoted herself to community work and service, including Junior League, P.E.O., and the Waterloo Symphony.
Janet was passionate about travel, art collection and interior decorating. Janet's eye for detail and impeccable taste created elegant homes that were magazine-worthy and often featured in The Waterloo Courier. Collecting art became a pastime for her and Dr. Corton. They supported local artists through The Des Moines Art Center, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa.
Janet and Dick traveled extensively throughout Europe and Mexico. In 1975, Janet parlayed her love of travel by working as a travel agent at Short's Travel Agency in Waterloo. She eventually became Vice President of Creative & Specialized Travel. Her role included organizing tours abroad, including one for University of Iowa President's Club, among others.
A lifetime learner, Janet attended the University of Northern Iowa to learn French. She also attended the Institute de Francais in Sur-Mer, France to further her studies. The family hosted international exchange students and took their family abroad many times, introducing her children to adventure and novel experiences. Always the gracious hostess, Janet entertained often.
In 1990, the couple moved to Iowa City, Iowa. Janet served as a docent at the University of Iowa Museum of Art and participated in P.E.O., Chapter E. The couple continued traveling throughout retirement, including trips to Turkey and Japan.
The Cortons began wintering in Green Valley in the mid-1990s. In 2005, the Cortons moved to La Posada retirement community. Janet was involved with activities through La Posada and St. Francis-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.
Janet instilled in her children a sense of independence, graciousness, love of beauty and sense of style, and devotion and loyalty to friends and family.
Janet was predeceased by her parents; her step-sister, Lois Johnson; her brother-in-law, Stanley Johnson; her husband; and daughter-in-law, Faith Sussman.
Janet is survived by her three children: Richard (Rick) Van Metre Corton, Jr., of Phoenix, Ariz; Jon Christopher (Chris) Corton (Cydney Morel) of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and daughter, Robin Corton Bellamy (John) of St. Paul, Minn.; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one nephew.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the University of Iowa Museum of Art or St. Francis-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, Green Valley, Ariz. Condolences can be sent to The Corton Family, c/o Robin Bellamy, 1641 Highland Pkwy., St. Paul, Minn. 55116. An outdoor Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, April 4, in the courtyard at St. Francis-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, Green Valley, at 11:30 a.m.