Janet (second child of Alex and Margaret Thomson) started her journey in Scotland, travelling across the winter storms of the North Atlantic Ocean (thereby giving her mother acute nausea) before her birth in Victoria, B.C. Janet moved with her parents and (by then) four siblings to the Yukon and Ross River in 1967. The Thomson family made the journey to Ross from Whitehorse via the South Canol Road; the only road to the community before the Campbell Highway was built. The station wagon - loaded with five children (two of them babies), a budgie bird, an aquarium of goldfish and household goods – slowly made the perilous journey over the treacherous road.
Janet grew up in the log cabin her dad Alex built, hauling wood and water with her two sisters. When she was 10, she and her younger sister would hook Brownie the family husky up to the toboggan and snare rabbits and squirrels. Janet and her sisters helped out running the general store, fur trading post and post office that her mom Margaret operated.
Janet was an imaginative, mischievous child. She had a sparkling wit and was always the life of the party. Despite having no running water (back in the days of one bath a week) she somehow always managed to have impeccably groomed hair.
In 1974 she moved into Whitehorse to attend grade 11 at F.H. Collins. She began working at the federal government (Indian Affairs) in 1977 and welcomed her son Jason into the world in November, 1979. She moved to Prince Rupert, B.C. with Bruce McRobb in 1982. They married in 1983 and her son Gordon arrived in 1985.
Janet and Bruce returned to Whitehorse in 1986, where she raised her boys, coached soccer and hosted legendary family dinners with the flair of a passionate, self-taught chef. Janet nursed her mother, Margaret, through her illness before she died of cancer in 1988.
Janet returned to Vancouver Island and worked for Canada Post in Victoria and Campbell River. She lived there with her partner, Wally Erickson for many years. Janet struggled with poor health for the last 10 years of her life but never let it get her down and refused to let the pain dim her vivacious spirit. Her last visit to the Yukon was in December of 2018 to attend her son Jason’s marriage to Lisa Gallant. Janet was very proud of both of her boys; they were, in her words, “the light of my life”.
She is mourned by partner Wally Erickson, son Jason McRobb (Lisa), son Gordon McRobb, sister Gail Kabanak (Terry), sister Nancy Thomson, brother Bruce Thomson (Val) and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother, Margaret, father Alexander, brother Ian, and ex-husband Bruce McRobb.
Janet was a born nurse - like her mother – and was always there to help others. She was generous and lively, and adored singing, forever belting out a good Dolly Parton or John Denver tune. Her beautiful voice will be with us always.
Janet wished her ashes to be buried beside her beloved little brother, Ian Thomson, in Ross River. A celebration and service will take place there in the spring.
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