Janice Irene Draper
Aug 25, 1932 - Aug 20, 2019
Janice Irene Draper (lovingly called Mema by her family) was born on August 25, 1932 in Van Nuys, California. She died peacefully at her home in Rancho Cordova California surrounded by her family on August 20, 2019. She was five days away from turning 87 years old.
Her mother whom she loved dearly, Clifford “Cliffy” Richard Morgan, and father, Charles Roy Wallace and two brothers and Chuck and Jerry preceded her in death.
Her husband, Jimmie Elwood Draper, Sr. and her four boys, Jimmie Elwood Draper, Jr., Jeffrey Earl Draper, Darrell Wallace Draper, Sr., and Randy Craig Draper survive her in addition to her 17 grandchildren, 3 of which she helped raise, and 32 great grandchildren.
Janice grew up in California and graduated from Trona High School in 1950. Her brother gave her the nickname of Lalie, and it stuck with her school friends. She made lasting friendships during her school years and through her association with Job’s Daughters, an international youth organization for young women that fosters leadership, charity and character building. She was the elected as her Bethel’s Honored Queen and led the organization for her 6-month term.
After high school, and a few other moves she landed in Sacramento California and worked as a switchboard operator. During that time she met her future husband, Jimmie Draper down at Stan’s Drive in on 16th and K Street, the place where all the young folks used to hang out in the evenings. Jim was in his early 20s and was enlisted in the air force working at Mather as an aircraft electrician. According to Jim, they dated for about a week before he proposed marriage, they were married on June 21, 1953 at Mather Air force Base
Her mother told Jim before they got married, “She can rebuild a carburetor but she doesn’t know how to cook!” Janice taught herself how to cook and her sons how to rebuild carburetors, how to drag race and most importantly she taught them to love and serve the Lord.
Janice joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after marrying Jim and was baptized on June 6, 1959. They were later sealed in the Oakland Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an eternal family with their four sons on February 22, 1967.
Jim, Janice and their four boys moved to their current home in Rancho Cordova on May 1st 1968. They have been active and faithful members in their local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (attending the same building) for over 51 years.
Janice brought life and vitality to any gathering. She was a dear and loyal friend to many, and had wonderful long-lasting relationships. Starting with her friends from High School in Trona whom she kept in touch with until the end. She also had many friends from her church community. They raised their families together, served in the Church together, sent their sons on missions and watched as they got married and raised their own families making her and Jim grandparents, and great grandparents.
Janice lived life with gusto. Among many things she will be remembered for:
• Loving animals, her family had dogs growing up and when she had her own family they raised crows, squirrels a cat and several dogs
• Playing all types of sports. Tennis, volleyball and softball. She was the ace pitcher for the church women’s softball team – she did all this well into her 50s
• Learning to play golf in her 50s with a used set of clubs from Deseret Industries. She even got TWO holes in one in her lifetime!
• Going about her church assignments riding her motorcycle, with her visiting teaching companion on the back
• Playing Shanghai rummy – and playing to win!
• Riding in off-road vehicles well into her 80s, telling her son to “go faster”
• Perfecting her fluffy dinner roll recipe – and many other amazing dishes.
• Loving to read and share paperback books amongst her friends.
Most importantly she will always be remembered for her love of family and her strong and abiding testimony of the Savior. She is a great example of enduring to the end with a sense of humor.