Coping with Grief
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Fare you well, my honey.
Fare you well, my only true one.
Janice Carol Walker Corrigan of Savannah died on Sunday, May 23, 2021, at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah following a month-long illness. She was 61 years old. Her husband of 36 years, Stephen Corrigan, was at her bedside when she took her last breath.
Jan, as she was known to family and friends, was Senior Executive Assistant at the Savannah accounting firm of TJS Deemer Dana at the time of her death. Before that she worked at the accounting firm of Skinner, Barndollar & Lane beginning in 2007. She joined TJS Deemer Dana when the two firms merged in 2015. She also worked 20 years at SunTrust Bank, where she eventually served as manager of the Wilmington Island branch.
Jan received numerous accolades during her business career, but the most fitting tribute came just days before her death. Co-workers joined family and friends at the hospital, but because of COVID restrictions, they were not allowed inside. Instead, they gathered in the hospital parking garage where they staged an impromptu tailgate – complete with packed coolers, folding chairs and many memories of Jan.
No doubt, she would have been touched by the gesture because she loved tailgating, especially on fall football Saturdays to cheer on her beloved Georgia Bulldogs. She was known to prepare tasty dips and dishes for those gatherings. Among the favorites were her chili dip, chipped beef dip and taco dip.
Being from South Georgia, Jan always looked forward to the annual Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville. For years, Stephen and Jan joined her sister and brother-in-law Judy and Steve Dixon and family friends Mike and Kathy Harris and Mike and Cheryl Cleary for the big game. There was the time on Jekyll Island when Jan danced with Hairy Dog. And the time when the singer from the Tams asked her, “Little girl, you here to see the Tams? Well, I’m one of them.” Then there was the time when streakers raced by the hotel swimming pool. And the time the water faucets went dry at their Jacksonville hotel as everyone prepared the morning of the game.
She was there when the weather was perfect. And the time the game was played in a torrential downpour. And that time the temperature dropped to near freezing and an inebriated fan stumbled into their car and shattered the plastic Bulldog car tag into a dozen pieces. And the many times temps soared to near triple digits. She always built up to the game by wearing coordinated red and black outfits each day to work. And taking off Fridays so she could get to St. Simons in plenty of time for the big party.
Perhaps the best story of Jan and the Georgia-Florida game came in 1985. The Gators entered the game ranked No. 1 and tickets were at a premium. Since husband Stephen was a working sportswriter at that game, only a single ticket was needed for Jan. She paid a scalper’s price of $75 for the seat – big money in those days. But there was just one problem. When she got to her seat, a rude fan was already plopped down. “Excuse me, but that’s my seat,” she told him. “Might be, but I ain’t moving,” he replied. “Stay your behind right there,” she growled. She returned a short time later with a cop in tow. She got her seat. And the Dawgs got the victory. Money well spent.
After dating since high school, Jan and Stephen wed on St. Patrick’s Day in 1985 at the First United Methodist Church in Blackshear. That day took on added meaning when the couple moved to Savannah the next year. Savannah is known for hosting the world’s second biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade, and Jan took up the festivities with gusto. When their children Addie and Danny came along, the Corrigans gathered each year in Oglethorpe Square to watch to procession. At first, Stephen would claim their spot early the morning of the parade. Later, Jan took over the duties. Woe to anyone who attempted to take her spot.
Yes, she had spunk.
Jan was born Nov. 30, 1959, in Blackshear. She was a 1977 graduate of Blackshear High School. It was at Blackshear High in 1977 that Jan and Stephen were named Mr. and Miss Senior. It was an honor both spoke of proudly throughout her life. She also studied at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia Southern College in Statesboro and Waycross Junior College.
She is survived by her husband, Stephen; a daughter, Addie Corrigan of Savannah; a son, Danny Corrigan of Savannah; a sister, Judy Walker Dixon of St. Simons; a sister-in-law, Suzy Corrigan Thomas of Jacksonville, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Effie Mae and Thomas W. Walker; and her brother-in-law Steven M. Dixon.
Funeral services for Jan will be held Wednesday morning, May 26, 2021, at 11:00 o’clock from the Pearson-Dial Chapel.
Interment will be in the Blackshear City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 6-8 at the funeral home.
The family kindly requests that members of the Blackshear High School class of 1977 serve as honorary pallbearers. Please meet at the funeral home chapel by 1030 Wednesday morning.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.