Jan Drees Obituary

Jan Holmes Drees
Jan Holmes Drees
Jan Holmes Drees

June 14, 1946 - October 30, 2009
Born in Des Miones, IA
Resided in West Des Moines, IA
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Jan Holmes Drees, 63, a loving and dedicated mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, educator and friend, died suddenly Friday, October 30, 2009 at Mercy Medical Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines. Her family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, November 3 at Iles Funeral Homes – Dunn's Chapel. A vigil service will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Janice Lee Holmes was born the daughter of John and Marjorie Holmes on June 14, 1946 in Des Moines and lived in the Des Moines area all her life. She graduated from St. Joseph's Academy (Dowling Catholic High School), and received her undergraduate degree and a Master's Degree in Education from Drake University.

A Des Moines School Pioneer, Jan worked for over 35 years with the Des Moines Public School System. She helped found the Des Moines Downtown School and made it easier for thousands of Iowans to home-school their children. Her career began in 1970 as a teacher at Oak Park and Studebaker elementary schools. She then became a special education teacher at Hillis and Hubbell elementary schools. In 1984 she launched the Des Moines schools' home instruction program and in 1990 she started the nationally recognized Downtown School. She retired in 2006 as Principal of the Downtown School and Edmunds Academy of Fine Arts.

Jan had a special gift for encouraging her students and made each student feel special and important. She inspired, challenged and encouraged both new and seasoned teachers in the profession she felt passionate about. And she partnered with parents to cultivate the best opportunities for students and empowered parents to foster a positive educational environment for their children.

Jan enjoyed her six grandchildren and often planned adventures and special trips with them. She loved her family dearly and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jan is survived and lovingly remembered by her three sons, Daniel (Rachel) Drees of Charlotte, NC and twins David (Kerry) Drees and Doug Drees all of Des Moines; her six grandchildren, Emma, Abby, Ellie, Trish, Luke and Addie; sisters, Karen Holmes McBride of Minneapolis and Lynda (David) Zachar of Chicago; brother, John (Wendy) Holmes of Ft. Lauderdale; nephews, Joe and Scott McBride and Andy Zachar, and nieces, Mandy Holmes and Emily Zachar. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Marjorie Holmes.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Des Moines Business Education Alliance (500 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309) children's education betterment fund in her name.

Online condolences may be made at www.ilesfuneralhomes.com

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Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, IA US 50265
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
10:30 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Des Moines Business Education Alliance
500 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309