Eight Bells: Janice A. Visser

Published on May 5th, 2014

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share the loss of one of the most amazing women who has ever walked this earth, my mother, Janice A. Visser (Oct. 25, 1938 – Apr. 30, 2014).

She cast off Wednesday morning, April 30th, for her final sail around 5am due to a pulmonary embolism – likely created from a fall she took over the weekend which resulted in a fractured hip. We all thought her recovery was going well as she had started some basic therapy, in as much the night before her passing, my wife, son and I even had ice cream with her, made plans for the following day, cracking jokes and sharing hugs. I even got to kiss her goodnight.

Sadly, she passed in her sleep, peacefully and pain free the next morning.

She will be missed by many as she touched a lot of lives, particularly in the sailing community. To those who know her through sailing, you know that this was her passion. She was a great steward of the sport, especially for youth sailing. Her legacy includes the creation and collaboration of numerous youth sailing programs, clinics, regattas as well as serving the sailing foundation, Pacific International Yachting Association, US Sailing, Washington Boating Safety Council and beyond.

As the founder of the Corinthian Sailing Club in Olympia, WA and the ongoing sailing director at Olympia Yacht Club, she inspired 10,000+ kids and many adults to take up the life sport that has brought so many of us together.

She was not one for sad ceremonies and her wishes were to have an epic blowout of a party when she was to pass. We will be holding a luau style celebration to honor her on May 18th at 11am at Carlyon Beach Club House and Park in Olympia, WA. This is a waterfront park with a sandy beach, big grassy field, play structures for kids, indoor / outdoor space and a marina. Hawaiian shirts and beach attire are encouraged. Moorage is available for those who would like to come by boat.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pacific International Yachting Association c/o Janice Visser Youth Sailing Scholarship, PO Box 523, Olympia, WA 98507. – Mike Visser

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