In loving memory of

Jan "Janski" Jankowski
March 11, 1943 - July 5, 2014

Madison - Jan Jankowski "Janski", born March 11, 1943, passed away at his home on July 5, 2014. He grew up in Whitefish Bay, WI, the eldest son of Eddie Jankowski (Green Bay Packers and UW Football Hall of Fame Member) and Arlene Jankowski.
Jan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at an early age, but never let that define him. His love of skiing took him to Aspen, CO for many years to appreciate the mountains. Upon returning to Wisconsin, he lived in Milwaukee before moving to Madison. He was given the gift of life, receiving a kidney-pancreas transplant in Madison in October of 1986 by Dr. Hans Sollinger.
Jan faced many medical challenges over the years and overcame them all to live an amazingly full life. He worked at the UW Hospital and Clinics along with the American Family Children's Hospital reception desks up until the time of his death. He remained active in the Madison Corvette Club, JDRF and NKF fundraisers, Transplant Games (bicycling), Milwaukee Birthday Club and was an avid Packers Fan his entire life. His companions throughout the years were his two faithful Wheaton terriers; Tammie Faye and Mango. Even though Jan successfully remained a bachelor, he would often speak of his four ex-wives. Jennifer, whom he met while in high school; in addition to Mary, Lisa and Nancy, who were his transplant comrades.
He was a generous person and would annually donate Packers tickets to the American Family Children's Hospital which would allow a deserving family the opportunity to experience the Lambeau aura. In addition, he would often enter his corvette into competitions, then gifting the prizes and trophies to children. Without his generosity and sense of humor, life would have been a little less sweet.
He is survived by his sister, Mary Lynn, other relatives and friends. Jan was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Jon.
Friends may call at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (2116 Hollister Ave, Madison WI, 53726) on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 from 4:30pm until the time of the Memorial Mass at 6:00pm with Father Steve Kuhlmann, O.P. presiding.
We are deeply grateful to all of his doctors and caregivers for their excellent care and support. In lieu of flowers, Jan asks that you register to be an organ donor at: Donations can be made in his name to: Douglas T Miller Transplant Fund (600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792)


Jane Poskie wrote on Aug 21, 2019:

"went to the UW Hospital today, it just isn't the same with Jan not at the front reception desk. I will always think of him when I go there"

"Nanski" wrote on Jul 18, 2015:

"Janski, Sorry, there wasn't a green & gold candle that I could light in your memory tonight. You probably have the best seat in the house as they are inducting Brett Favre into the Packers Hall of Fame tonight along with retiring his number "4" at Lambeau Field. But of course you already know that! We really miss you here! "

Lori Wandschneider wrote on Jul 21, 2014:

"Jan was a wonderful man that had a special spot in his heart for my daughter Ali. He always greeted her with some sort of positive and/or teasing comment. They shared the "gift of life". Jan with a kidney/pancreas and my daughter with a liver. He loved to tease her that she should have an AARP card. Even though she is 15 years old, her liver is 59 years old. He watched her grow from a little girl with red hair and pig tails to a lovely teenager today. He will be missed by many and especially my family."

Nanski wrote on Jul 15, 2014:

"I first met Jan here in Madison before the Orlando FL Transplant Games in 2000. He immediately helped me, given I was entering into the unknown as a new transplant recipient and bicycling competitor. Little did I know he had been through this before. Jan was a gem! I had lost my brother to Type 1 diabetes just a few years earlier and I guess he allowed me to adopt him as my new quasi brother. We had great fun over the years. Sometimes, we just laughed ourselves silly. Who knew a hospitalization could almost be fun if you had the right number of battery operated critters in your room to entertain the medical staff. Jan helped me more than I could have ever helped him. He was a phone call away when I was caring for both of my parents alone during their final years. They enjoyed Jan's company too ;o) My Dear Janski, I will miss you more than I can say. Thank you for all the laughter and tears throughout the years. You taught me how to face the hardest of times with a sense of humor like no one else I know. I was honored to be considered your; ex-wife #4. Rest in Peace my dear friend. "

Manny Chut wrote on Jul 15, 2014:

"Jan is of the most kind and generous man I have ever met. Because our transplant connection, I thank Jan for sharing with me those kindness and generosity. He will always be remembered, especially whenever I come to Madison for my check-ups. We usually go out before and after my check-ups and catch up with things. We will miss you. I know you through a lot and pray wherever you are,may you rest in peace."

Ken wrote on Jul 14, 2014:

"Dear Jankowski friends and family, sorry for your's at times like this that we can drawn comfort from God's word the Holy Bible: Revelation 21:4...."He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.""

John Pirsch wrote on Jul 9, 2014:

"Jan was one of the few patients I took care of during my entire career as a transplant physician. We even shared the same barber who would always mention Jan when I got my haircut. He was a tireless advocate for transplant recipients. As others have said, Jan was a hard worker and it was fun to see him in the hospital when he was working. My condolences to his family, ex-wives and all who worked with him."

Chris "CJ" Janus wrote on Jul 9, 2014:

"Jan was a very special guy. He was such an advocate for himself & others at UW Hospital. I enjoyed working with him as his transplant coordinator. We will miss him."

Gailski wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Throughout the 8 years I have known Jan through my marriage to Tom, one of Jan's best friends I have never met anyone who was as strong and courageous as Jan. I admired him and often thought of what a great inspiration he was for the patients at the hospital where he worked. I always looked forward to spending time with him during our many Birthday dinners we celebrated. I enjoyed his sense of humor and Jan and Tom's attempts to "One up each other" with their crazy antics and sarcstic humor. I am gateful to have known suh a special person. Jan we will miss you but you will forever be in our heart and memories. I am certain you are whole again and either skiing the beautiful clouds in heaven or riding the highways in heaven in a perfect "Vette". "

DeLee and Scott Kappelman wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Wow what an amazing individual. Always happy and a great inspiration to his transplant family. I spent a lot of time with Jan at the 2000 transplant games and really got to know him. He is a friend for life. I thank the UW transplant team for giving us all those extra years with him, he leaves memories with all of us. Love you my friend. "

Joe and Jackie Lefebvre wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Our thoughts and hearts are with all of Jan's family at this time. He was a very sweet man! May he rest in peace."

Cathy Silver wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Jan was an amazing man and it was a honor to know him. Rest in peace, Jan, you will be missed."

Hans Sollinger wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Jan, was one of my favorite patients.We shared many things out side the hospital.Bike rides with the diabetic group,he hosting my students from overseas for several month and of course joining him at Camp Randall when his father was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jan was a wisecracker and always had a few funny lines when I saw him at the hospital over the years.Jan,despite many setbacks had so much optimism that I always enjoyed to see him.He was a really good guy and I am happy that I was able to give him a few good years. I will miss seeing him in the hospital."

Paul Dowding wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"I met Jan through the Corvette club here in Madison I had many wonderful conversations with, and memories of, Jan, but two stand out. The first was a trip with the Corvette club to Frisco, Colorado. He was our guide to all the bars and the personalities that hung out there. He helped make that trip a memorable one The second was a trip to Madison International Speedway. I convinced Jan he should take a few hot laps with me in my old ZR-1. He was very stoic during the ride, which included a little drifting in the high banked corners. His knuckles were white for two days after that ride but he really enjoyed the ride and brought it up often in our conversations. But the most important thing I will remember about Jan was his amazingly positive outlook on all things, despite all the health issues he faced. In the 15 years I knew him, I really never heard him complain about anything other than maybe he missed a spot when he detailed his car. And his never ending service to others was always an inspiration. I'll miss you Jan. You were and are, a one of a kind guy. "

Kathy Schultz wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Even in his death, Jan is thinking and giving to others. Heaven got a special angel in Jan. We will all miss you and your kind, thoughtful ways."

Bob Walczak wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"P.S. Bob says he certainly remembers the great times staying in Madison at Jan's aunts and wishes to send his condolences to Jean and Joanne and husbands."

Diane and Bob (Wally) Walczak wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Jan has been my husbands friend since grade school . We have lived in different places over the years but he would always visit us and rekindle the old friendship. He has never complained about his many physical challenges and always was ready for a good time. He and Jennifer (ex-wife #1 ) would stay with us in Green Bay when they came for the Packer-Vikings game and we have such fond memories from those times. Rest in Peace, Jan! You will forever hold a place in our hearts. Our donor cards are signed and we will make a donation to the transplant group in your name!"

Christa Finch, RN (kidney-pancreas transplant coor wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Jan was an optimistic, kind, generous, and caring individual. We truly appreciate his committment to his own health, evidenced by his functioning pancreas transplant 27 years later! But, also his committment to UW Health, the Transplant Program, and other transplant recipients. The gift of his involvement motivated both patients, caregivers, and health care providers. He truly was an excellent steward of his donor organs. Thank you, Jan! You are already missed. My condolences to your family and friends. You are in our thoughts and prayers."

Ron DeGolier wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"I'll never forget when I first met Jan as he joined the cycling team of Team Wisconsin at the U.S. Transplant Games in Los Angeles in 1992. We shared a lot of memories and laughs over many years of teaming together in the same cycling age group--none better than finishing 1-2-3 (with Dean Palmer) for Team Wisconsin in both the criterium road race and time trial in Atlanta in 1994. Jan had an incredible blend of compassion and sarcasm that we all seemed to love. There was seldom a dull moment when anybody was with him. I'll really miss Jan and the occasional meeting that we still had after our years of competing together."

Faye Riedner wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"Jan I will miss our little chats we had. You were always smiling. I will miss that as well. You will truly be missed by all. May you Rest In Peace. You always made me smile when you talked about your 4 ex-wifes. "

Steve McGilvrey wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"You wouldn't find a cleaner more detailed Corvette than Jan's Corvette. He was a master of the art of detailing. Always had a smile on his face no matter what was going on in his life. He faced many challenges in his life but you never heard a complaint from him. I will miss the varied conversations we had together. RIP"

Brian Lamboley wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"I worked with Jan at UW Hospital. Being the Steeler fan I am Jan couldn't leave that alone and often told me to burn my Steeler jacket as I walked by him on my way out. I'd remind him that the Steelers had 6 super bowls wins to GB's 4. It was a great give and take that I'll he could take as well as he gave. When I'd MC the Transplant house bike rides in May at the Capital Brewery Jan would be there helping out. You could always count on him, & I'll miss him. Shake Vince Lombardi's hand for me should you run into him in heaven for me Jan! "

Claire Goudeau wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"I first got to know Jan at the 2006 Transplant Games in Kentucky. We were both cycling for Team Wisconsin. Everything was new to me and he really took me under his wing. I will always remember Jan as such a kind, compassionate man. Even through all his incredible health challenges, he maintained a terrific sense of humor. For anyone living with chronic illness....he was a wonderful role model. Jan will be missed by all."

Jan Faivre wrote on Jul 8, 2014:

"We're going to miss you at all the Corvette events."

Elaine Edelburg wrote on Jul 7, 2014:

"Jan, you will be sorely missed. May you Rest in Peace."

Sonja & George Jensen wrote on Jul 7, 2014:

"Jan was an amazing human being and we have been so very blessed to have known him. He rented a room to me when I was in Madison with a young man getting a double lung transplant 15 years ago and we remained friends from that time on. We always stopped to see him on our way to see our family in ND as was the case this year. He was always so much fun, never complaining, always generous and caring. He would talk sports with George with every phone conversation and visit. He will be so missed by us and all his friends and family. God has him in His keeping and we have him in our hearts forever. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to all the family in deepest sympathy."