Life Story / Obituary


Janet Lynn (Ferguson) Buchanan passed away on May 25, 2022, at Orchard Creek Skilled Care in Traverse City, MI, after a long illness, which she fought with her typical strength and stubbornness. Jan was born on November 30, 1939, to parents Cleo Frederick (Fred) and Clema Fern (Phipps) Ferguson in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jan graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1958 and married Donald (Don/Duke) Buchanan on January 21, 1961. They spent 53 years together until his passing in 2014. Together, they raised their two daughters, Kelly and Jennifer, in Dexter, MI, until their retirement in 2003 to their “River House” on the Upper Manistee River in Fife Lake, MI.

She worked for many years as a bank teller at Ann Arbor Bank, First of America, and National City branches in Dexter and South Lyon. She loved her job as it gave her a chance to chat and connect with customers, many of whom she counted as dear friends.

If you were lucky enough to be part of her family or one of her many friends or acquaintances, you know she was loving, caring, stubborn, stylish, opinionated, generous, and incredibly devoted. She loved to cook, hated to clean, enjoyed garage sales, dollar stores, southwestern décor, Kenny Rogers, capri pants, her sister’s fried chicken, and most of all, time with family and friends.

Jan never left the house without her makeup on and hair done. She never shied away from giving “advice” to her family about cooking. She was always sure to tell her family that she loves us, and that she was extremely proud of our collective character, accomplishments, and talents. We are grateful for all the love and support she gave us and will deeply miss her sense of humor, spunk, encouragement, generosity, and devotion.

Jan was preceded in death by her husband, Don; her parents; brother Harold Walker, and sisters Dorothy Horton, Rose Andrew, Betty Sherman, Louise Grafton, Marge Schmid, and Norma Gregg.

Jan is survived by her daughters, Kelly Ann (Mark) Yanick of Traverse City; Jennifer Lynn Buchanan and her partner David Sorenson of Petoskey; and grandsons Leland Yanick, Nolan Yanick, and Simon Gelb; her sisters Thelma Oltersdorf of Suttons Bay and Clema Kruger of Ann Arbor; and her many beloved nieces and nephews who brightened her world with each and every visit, phone call, and email.

We ask that in her memory, when you see a bright star in the night sky, think of her, as she loved the stars and we are certain she is making them brighter for all of us.

A private memorial service celebrating her life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be directed to Promedica Heartland Hospice Care, 400 Eastern Star Dr. Suite 2, Traverse City, MI 49684, who provided care and comfort to her and her family.

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