Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
05/18/1944 to 02/19/23
Janice Dale Brown Barry, long time resident of Ross, California, passed away Feb- ruary 19, 2023 in Panama after an auto accident. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Peter, and children, Christopher (Deidra) of Corte Madera, grandchildren, Colbie Camille and Jackson, Piers (Nina) of Ross, grandchildren Ela and William, Hillary of Ross, and Andrew of Ross, her brother, Gary Brown of Casper, Wyoming, and her niece, Brenda Peters of Casper, Wyoming.
Born May 18, 1944 in Casper, Wyoming, to attorney, William Brown, and Dorothy Brown of Casper; a child of the rugged Western outdoors, Janice grew up in the saddle, on skis, and on skates. She blossomed into a sophisticate with varied and expansive in- terests and talents. After attending public schools in Casper, where she was an aca- demic and athletic standout, she ventured forth into the world and attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, from which she graduated in 1966, and then the University of Southern California School of Medicine, from which she graduated in 1973. It was in medical school that she met Peter, the man with whom she shared the rest of her life.
While she completed the last two years of medical school, Peter worked as a general medical officer in Kayenta, Arizona at the Navajo reservation and then in San Pedro, California at the Public Health Service’s clinic. Upon Janice’s graduation from medical school, the Barrys moved to San Francisco for a year. Janice worked for Planned Par- enthood in Marin County and then gave birth to their first child, Christopher, in Marin. After a year, they ventured to Anchorage, Alaska for two years where Janice worked at the Teamsters Clinic. Her second child, Piers, was born at the Anchorage Native Med- ical Center. Shortly after Piers’ birth, the Barrys were invited to work in Panama at the Public Health Service’s Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone. Within six months of living in Panama, Janice became fluent in Spanish. Included in her practice was the care of sailors on ships passing through the Canal. She was ferried by small craft to the large vessels and then clambered up swaying ladders to board the ships. She continued to do this even while nine months pregnant with her third child, Hillary, knowing full well that it was not uncommon to fall to the sea and drown or be crushed between ships. For Janice, it was her duty to tend to the ill first, then herself. In her spare time, she opened a clinic for nursing mothers, despite local doctors’ opposition.
With a growing family, the Barrys ended their peripatetic medical journeys and settled in Ross, California in 1979. In 1980, the Barry’s last child, Andrew, was born in Marin County.
Janice’s daily routine consisted of running and hiking the hills of the watershed lands at daybreak, returning home and preparing fresh baked bread, homemade preserves, and other culinary treats for her family (gourmet meals were the norm in Janice’s home). Then it was off to school for the children and a full day of practice for Janice, followed by epicurean dinners, help with the kids’ homework, and then reading several books in the late evening hours (her bedside always had at least one skyscraper of books).
Janice continued to practice internal medicine full time for 50 years from her San Anselmo and then San Rafael offices that she shared with her husband until her re- tirement in 2020. Until 2020, she was the practicing physician for the Marin County Jail for 15 years.
Endowed with a natural gift and talent for the practice of medicine, for Janice, the Hippocratic Oath meant more than, “do no harm;” it meant do affirmative good. This was the creed that guided Janice’s practice and her life. A physician from days past, she made house calls and answered patients’ calls at all hours of the day and night, clung to the practice of handwritten notes instead of dehumanized computer codes, and treated all in need.
Even with such a full schedule, Janice ran marathons, biked centuries, cycled in France and Italy, traveled the world on nature outings, volunteered at medical clinics in Guatemala, served as president of the 111 year old Tamalpais Conservation Club, and fought tenaciously to save Marin County’s open spaces; in particular, Bald Hill, which she championed for preservation for over thirty years. Before her passing, she saw her three decades’ long dream of saving Bald Hill come true. She was instrumental in rais- ing substantial funds for its purchase for open space.
In 2014, she was a founding member of Marin Against Density (MAD), a citizens group that participated in the successful battle to halt the massive Larkspur Landing Station Area Plan development.
On the watershed trails, which she visited daily with her beloved poodle, Millie, she searched for winter’s fungi, spring’s wildflowers (for which she knew their English and Latin names and why they had such names) and birds, which, as an avid birder, she recognized from their songs. She painted watercolor landscapes of Marin’s hills, fauna, and flora. She read voraciously, particularly history books, listened to classical music and her husband’s early American folk-songs banjo repertoire, made her own Christ- mas wrapping paper, chocolate truffles, biscotti, oat bread, babysat her four grand- children, and shared life’s daily pleasures in the company of her beloved husband and family.
The breadth of her encyclopedic knowledge on virtually any subject was a marvel and her limitless talents were astonishing. Her interests in life, her faith, her quest for knowledge and new experiences burned intensely. Janice was blessed with a heart formed for friendship and susceptible to the finest feelings. Her compassion for the sick was unbounded. Her candor, wit, humor, sincerity, keen intelligence, clear head and warm heart, strong moral sense, vast learning, varied accomplishments and talents shaped an exceptionally rare woman. She will live on forever in the memories of all she touched, but her lasting memorial is her cherished, prized family, the center of her life and her reason for living.
A Vigil will be held for Janice on Thursday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m. at Monte’s Chapel at 330 Red Hill Avenue (Miracle Mile), San Anselmo; a funeral service will be held on Fri- day, March 10, at 10:00 a.m. at Monte’s Chapel at 330 Red Hill Avenue (Miracle Mile), San Anselmo; a life’s celebration’s date and location will be announced at the funeral services.
Janice’s family requests that all donations in her name be made to The Nature Con- servancy, Marin Open Space Trust or Teton Raptor Center.