Northwest NEWS

March 15, 1999


A star player retires

   When Michael Jordan announced his retirement, it made the headlines. When John Elway suggested retirement, everyone sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

   When Janice Olmsted cleaned out her locker on Tuesday, March 2, 1999, after 30 years of helping to save and improve lives in the operating rooms in both eastern and western Washington, there were no headlines and no public fanfare.

   While Michael Jordan and John Elway are both talented and noteworthy individuals, so are a lot of other people in the world, and I wanted to bring to light just one of those many people: a person who through her undying efforts and talents has been affecting the lives of maybe not all of us, but quite a few, to say the least.

   Janice, like the sports icons mentioned above, and like most other people, when retired, will no longer take part in the one thing that is as much a part of her identity as her own name. As long as I've known Jan, the operating room has been her only place of employment. She has spent many long days there, only to be called back in the middle of the night for a repeat performance. She spent many hours attending night school and weekend workshops to stay on top of the job's academic requirements. Most importantly, she always spent time with her family.

   So, on March 2, unbeknownst to many, the operating room saw one of its star players retire, Janice Olmsted, a.k.a., "my mother." She cleaned out her locker, probably said some farewells to her current coworkers, and then silently left the building.

   I am certain that she, like many others who leave their lifelong professions will be missed. Thank you for your contribution to humanity and enjoy your much-deserved retirement.

Erich Britton, Woodinville