The Pennsy train has been whizzing by Ohio farms all afternoon. If I had the gift of description that John Burrows possessed I would try to give you that appreciation of his land that the mid-west farmer has – which, I might add, is very similar to the appreciation of his land that a Mississippi colored man has, or an Arkansas rice farmer whose fields flood just about every year when Ol’ Man River gets out of hand in the Springtime.
That affiliation with the soil is the tendons & ligaments of a nation. It is the elusive quality that holds the Chinese patriots together for over a decade of hard and miserable war. It was, in my opinion, of very great importance to the Russian men, women and children that turned back Hitler’s long grey columns at the very gates of Moscow and Stalingrad.
Ohio in the Springtime…it is a land of sections – geometric sections composed of squares and rectangles. Some of the quadrilaterals are brown, some black, others green. Some of the brown squares are dotted with a tan stubble. Some of the green ones are dotted with moving white, tan and brown cattle. Some of the cattle are for beefs; most of them are dairy cattle.
The squares and rectangles are sub-divided geometrically. Most of them have parallel lines running the length of the section. These straight parallel lines are rounded at the ends and connect one set of lines to those adjacent to it.
At irregular intervals on our very irregular checkerboard a complete space will be devoted to a group of three dimensional blocks. Many of these blocks are cubes and rectangular blocks with tent shaped blocks on top. This basic pattern is much varied. Some of the larger ones have large hemispheres or paraboloids glued beside them with the circle down.
On the horizon one always sees cones, and balls, and irregular patterns stemming from these basic designs, and all jumbled together.
In the Spring this effect is striking. Many give a ludicrous elegance of distinction, presenting a distinguished appearance. Others possess a daintiness that can be described in no less word that “beauty”. It isn’t a radiant kind of beauty. It derives its loveliness by contrast. In a group of distinguished, elderly gentlemen a beautiful girl becomes instantly the point of focus for all eyes in the room. This is by virtue of contrast. In the ballroom the beauty is present to a greater degree, but it is by contrast that one stands out as more beautiful than the rest.
Yellow and yellow-green are the predominating colors with spotless white and pastel shades of pink presenting the contrasts.
Ohio is beautiful in the Springtime.
May 12, 1946
Richard W. Janson of Canton Township, was born on March 4, 1926 and died on April 6, 2008. Richard, a lifetime resident of Canton and Stark County, Ohio was a committed family mentor as well as a scholar, scientist, a teacher and a successful businessman.
After graduating from Lehman High School in 1944, Richard enlisted in the Naval Corps V-6 program from which he had a year of education at Denison University, prior to his flight training. Upon discharge as WW II ended, Dick returned to complete his undergraduate degree at Denison University in Physics, where he completed a straight 4.0 grade rating and was awarded membership in the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. Mr. Janson was selected as scholar to study economics under Milton Freedman at the University of Chicago, with an additional year in the same discipline at Duke University.
Returning to Canton, Richard joined his brother Raymond in revitalizing Janson Industries, a stage and theatre equipment firm that manufactures and installs equipment throughout the United States. In addition to his responsibilities in Janson Industries, Richard and his brother built, opened and operated Cantons first commercial television station, WJAN, channel 17, now WDLI. Richard was also a founding partner in a real estate firm that stimulated industrial development in Massillon and other areas.
In the 1970s Richard again pursued his academic career leading to a master’s degree and ultimately a doctorate conferred by Kent State University in 1991. Subsequently, as an adjunct professor, Richard taught at Kent’s main campus in the Department of Geography. For three governors, Celeste, Voinovich, and Taft, Richard served as Chairman of the Ohio Edison Board, also known as Ohio’s Industrial and Technology Commission, an institute created by the legislature to establish and revitalize industries of the state for the future jobs creation. Additionally he was on the Governing Board of the Ohio Academy of Science (OAS) serving two terms as president. Dr. Janson also served as a Councilor of the American Geographical Society.
In addition to his parents Wilford and Mary Janson he was preceded in death by a brother Robert Janson an infant son Robert Russell Janson and his beloved wife Nancy, shortly after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Survivors include daughter and son-in-law: Holly and Charles Howland of Mt. Gilead, OH, and three sons and daughters-in-law: Dan and Roxanne Janson of Los Altos, CA, Ray E. and Pam Janson of Jackson Township, and Eric and Darlene Janson of Canton Township. Eight grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Sister: Rheda Walton of Lake Forest, Ill. Two brothers and sisters-in-law: Ray K. and Florrie Janson of Jackson Twp. and Russell and Barbara Janson of Tampa, FL.
Richard was a lifelong member of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Member of Trinity Lodge # 710 F&AM and 57 year member of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Canton. He was the author of two books, numerous scholarly publications and held several patents. He was also a member of the original planning committee that led to the establishment of the Wilderness Center. With all of his accomplishments Richard was a truly giving and kind person who treated everyone he met with dignity and brought out the best in them.
Funeral service will be Friday 11:00 A.M. in the Spiker-Foster-Shriver Funeral Home 710 Tuscarawas St., W. with Rev. C. David Morgan officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery. Friends may call on Thursday from 5 to 8 P.M. A Masonic service will be Friday 4:45 P.M. In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to the Wilderness Center Wilmot, OH 44689 or the American Geographical Society 120 Wall St. Suite 100 New York, NY 10005-3904.
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