On October 3, 2021, our wife, mother, grammy, sister, and friend, Jan Wanlass Baird, passed away, peacefully, after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Jan was born June 7, 1950, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the daughter of Keith and Catherine Wanlass. Jan was raised in Grantsville, Utah, where she was always involved in many activities. At a very young age, she loved to sing and dance, and she performed at many events. While attending Grantsville High School, she was a member of the Larietts and G-Whizz Pep Club, and was on the school paper staff. After graduating from high school in 1968, Jan attended Brigham Young University where she majored in Elementary Education. While there she was named Lieutenant Commandant as an extension of the ROTC program. While attending college, she enjoyed all the sporting events, but she especially loved the BYU Cougar Football team. After graduating from college, she accepted a teaching position at Grantsville Elementary School. Jan devoted thirty-five years to teaching and greatly impacted the lives of many of the children who live in this community.
On June 3, 1978, Jan married her true love and lifelong friend, Terry Rex Baird, in the Salt Lake Temple. Jan always loved kids and devoted her life to them. When she married Terry, she was thrilled to be gaining two amazing children, Tiffany and Chad. After a few years of marriage, they were blessed with a baby girl, Jennifer. Ten and one-half months later, they were again blessed with their second daughter, Janna. Seven years later they had a third daughter, Julee. Jan’s life revolved around her children, and nothing pleased her more than to see them succeed.
Jan was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She held many positions in the church. She especially loved being the chorister for the ward and the Primary. Jan was very active in the community of Grantsville. She and her First Grade teacher friend instituted an end of the year program entitled “The First Grade Circus” which ultimately became a beloved Grantsville tradition. Jan was on many Grantsville Sociable committees; she had a talent for planning and organizing events. She loved decorating her own home for every holiday. She especially enjoyed decorating for Halloween and Christmas. She was always looking for a reason to throw a party. She loved her Bunco friends that met as a group once a month. Her love for performing continued throughout her life, and she and her friends, the Dancing Queens, danced their way through many local events in their tight spandex. Jan considered herself the ‘Queen Bee’ and no one ever contested that.
Jan’s 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren were her pride and joy. She loved to attend every one of their events including games and dance recitals. It was not uncommon to see her traveling for long distances to see her grandchildren participate in their various activities. They loved and adored their Grammy. Jan will be long remembered for her infectious laugh, and her enthusiasm for life.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Julia, sister Jean Ellwell, brother Ed Wanlass and her little angel boy. She is survived by her husband, Terry, her sister, JoAnn (Anthony) Leonelli, her five children, Tiffany Durfee, Chad (Ashley) Baird, Jennifer (Dale) Deveraux, Janna (Bart) Jensen, and Julee (Andy) Kimball. Her seventeen Grandchildren are Rachael (Parker), Kaeson (Payton), Braxton (Kortnee), Kaige, Ky, Jarett, Landon, Kash, Addison, Jaxxon, Kambree, Jace, Journee, Bentley, Swayzee, Kate, Luke, Booker, Titan, and Baby Oss, along with many nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held Wednesday, October 6th , from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Funeral services will be held Thursday, October 7th, at 11:00 A.M. Prior to the service, a viewing will be held from 10:00 – 10:45 A.M. Both viewings and the funeral service will be held at the Grantsville LDS West Stake Center, 115 E. Cherry Street, Grantsville, UT.
To view the funeral service online, click here: watching.church , then click on 5th Ward and enter your name when prompted.