It is with tremendous sadness that we share with you the news that Janis Lynn (Piwetz) Esenwein died suddenly on Thursday March 30th, 2017. Jan had served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Society for Neuro-Oncology since its inception in 1995.
Jan was a devoted servant of the Society, and played a vital role in helping to create the dynamic organization that SNO is today. Active even before SNO was incorporated as a non-profit, she was considered to be the matriarch of the Society. She personally folded and sealed the first membership notices, and for many years the main SNO telephone rang in her living room. She knew most members by name, and took a genuine and fond interest in their work and activities. In recognition of her many years of devoted service to the Society, she was awarded with the SNO Public Service Award during the SNO Annual Meeting in 2015. Throughout her career, she supported the vision and efforts of the Society’s founders, helping the organization to rise to a level of participation and activity that few would have predicted over 20 years ago.
Jan dedicated her career to the service of others by working in planning and logistics in the medical field. Beginning in the New York City Health and Hospital system, she then brought her talents back home to Houston in 1977. She served in Houston’s medical community starting with Memorial Hospital and then to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1987. During her 30 years at MD Anderson, Jan rose to the position of Program Manager as she supported ground breaking medical research in the Neuro-Oncology department.
Jan was born in Houston, TX on November 10, 1949, the youngest daughter to Effie and Florian “Pete” Piwetz. She is survived by her Mother, Effie Piwetz, her siblings and their families; Jackie and Mike LeMoine, Mike and Mary Jo Piwetz, Mark and Eddie Kay Piwetz, Marty and Mary Piwetz, and her children; eldest son Sean Clark and wife Janet, grandchildren Ethan and Alexa, middle son Richard Esenwein and daughter Sarah Esenwein.
A full-blooded Czech descendant, she had an insatiable desire to sleuth through her family’s genealogical history. This led to her interest in charting the histories of Houston and Texas’ Czechoslovakian population. Through her own research and partnership with the Texas Czech Heritage Society she aided in making genealogical connections for Texas Czechs to their ancestors dating back to the 1600’s.
A devoted Daughter, Mother, Grandmother and Friend, Jan was truly a revered and pinnacle part of the SNO family. She was always a source of grace, beauty and brightness.
At the request of her family, those desiring to make memorial contributions or in lieu of flowers, may donate to the Society for Neuro Oncology, http://www.soc-neuro-onc.org/donations/, PO Box 273296, Houston, TX 77277-3296. A special fund is being established in her honor.