Janna Lee Imlay Shea, age 66, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2021 at her home in Denver with family by her side. Janna had endured a 7-month battle with gallbladder cancer.
Born July 9th in Seattle Washington, Janna spent her early years in western Washington where she graduated from Kentridge Senior High and moved-on to study aerospace science at Central Washington University. Janna lived in Chandler AZ where she started a family, moving to Parker CO, and later settling in Denver CO.
Janna propelled women in aviation by following her passion to fly. She earned her private pilot’s license and loved racing aircraft across the United States with other women in Ninety Nines organization. Janna obtained her commercial and flight instructor certificates, building time to eventually fly corporate, worked as an inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, and as a pilot for United Airlines. Janna made many connections through her love of aviation and she always looked forward to her WPPL women’s group.
Even as a child, she loved to fly. Her father, an airline pilot, inspired her love of flying and first introduced her to the serenity of the Hawaiian Islands. Janna lived to travel and explore new places. But, her heart was always in the islands and this became her favorite place to travel later in life with her family and friends. In addition to travel, Janna found time in retirement to enjoy photography and discovered her talents in cake decorating and baking.
Whether flying in the air - or at home on the ground - Janna was the devoted, loving and generous mother to two children. Janna is survived by Jennifer Johnson (Greg Tolifson) of Lowry, MN and Daniel Shea (Corinne) of Fort Collins, CO. She is better known as ‘Nana Janna’ to two grandchildren, Gage Johnson and Ridge Tolifson. She is survived by siblings Marc Imlay (Patti) and Scott Imlay (Kelli). Janna is preceded in death by Beulah McBride (mother) and Harless Imlay (father) and Andrea Imlay (niece).
Janna made a friend in everyone she met. She always had an open seat at her table for anyone facing a holiday or a meal alone. She will always be remembered for her compassion and support. Her intelligence and grace. Janna will eternally soar amongst the clouds, no longer uplifted by the wings of a plane, but by her wings – the wings of an angel.
Services will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Horan & McConaty located 1091 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80210. Relatives and friends are welcome. Attendance is limited due to COVID restrictions. Online streaming of this service will be available. Celebration of life to be scheduled in Janna’s honor for summer of 2021.
Alzheimer's Association of Colorado
455 Sherman Street, Suite 500, Denver CO 80203
Legal name: The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc., Colorado Chapter.
Tax ID Number: 13-3039601