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Obituary: Janet Allen "Jan" Gulden, Columbus

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Janet Allen "Jan" Gulden, 66, of Columbus, died at 11:25 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2013, at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Blessed by loyal friends and surrounded by loving family, Jan lived a full life.

Born in Indianapolis, Jan. 24, 1947, Jan was the daughter of George W. and Sue S. Allen. She grew up in Indianapolis. Valedictorian of her high school class, she went to DePauw University and earned a degree in mathematics. She met Wynne “Chip” Gulden at a party of Procter and Gamble employees. They married in 1970 and moved to Massachusetts, where Jan worked as a computer programmer to put her husband through graduate school. In the mid 1970s, Jan and Chip settled in Columbus, where Jan worked for Arvin Industries. After their second child was born, Jan became a full-time mother, investing her efforts in her children’s lives.

She valued independence of thought and action, questioned authority when necessary, and fervently defended an individual’s right to his or her own opinion, life, and privacy. She supported organizations in which she believed, including ABC Stewart School, Volunteers in Medicine, and Planned Parenthood.

Compassionate and gracious, Jan could carry on a conversation with anyone. Her ready laugh was bolstered by her quick wit and wry sense of humor. She sang her way through life, able to tap her encyclopedic memory for songs to fit any occasion. When the song didn’t exist, she made one up.

Jan relaxed by reading mystery novels and crime thrillers and working crosswords. She enjoyed (and usually won) board and card games: her excellent memory, agile mind, and uncanny good luck (in most things) made her a worthy opponent in almost any competition. In their retirement, Jan and Chip enjoyed traveling. Jan developed a passion for genealogy, sleuthing her way through records to fill both the Allen and Gulden family trees.

Jan unrelentingly worked toward anything she set her mind to do. With a quiet and deeply held sense of duty and loyalty, Jan devoted herself to being the primary caregiver for her husband during his prolonged illness. When forced to face the prospect of her own disability, Jan gave her full and unflinching effort toward recovery.

Jan taught her children to think for themselves, to be persistent in working toward their goals, and to act in accordance with their values. From their mother’s example, Jan’s children learned resilience in the face of hardship.

Jan leaves her children, Lindsey (Enrique) and Brian (Julie); her granddaughter, Sabina; her brother, Geo (Ann); her sister-in-law, Cheryl (Fred); and many close friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.

A memorial service will be held in May. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 E. 17th Street, Columbus IN 47201.

Arrangements were entrusted to Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home.


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