Celebrating the life of Janice DeVries

For as far back as I can remember I have been Grandma’s girl.  I was often told how much I looked like my paternal grandmother, literally from head to toe (she even compared our feet one day).  My love for big earrings and red lipstick stem from her influence.  If I had to choose one word to describe her it would be gregarious.  She was the life of the party and never met a stranger in her life.
Sadly we lost my grandmother to a long battle with cancer last week.  She was a tough woman who inspired us all with her determination and spirit.  I want to take a moment to celebrate her life and the legacy she leaves behind.


Fun stories and interesting facts about Grandma DeVries:

She was the baby of 12 children!
Janice Huff was a very spirited young lady in the early 1940s.  Many funny stories of her hijinks with her cousin have been shared but I think my favorite was the time she had to spend a few hours in a cell at the local police station and her friends snuck her cigarettes through the windows.  Jail was not going to stop her fun. 
One night Janice went out and throughout the night the shoulder pad of her coat kept slipping down.  She had to keep shoving it up.  Over and over, all evening.  When she arrived home and took her coat off a scared and frazzled mouse crawled out of her sleeve.  All night he had been trying to escape. 
After a whirlwind courtship, Jack and Janice went across the state line to Arizona to get married.  Why?  Because at that time Arizona didn’t require a blood test before getting married and Janice was afraid of needles.
Five of her brothers fought in World War II and they all came home safe. 
My grandparent’s loved playing cards.  After a while they stopped sitting next to each other during games because some people couldn’t be trusted not to cheat.  Often heard at the end of a game was “God damn it!  I am never playing cards with you again”, followed the next night by “Lets play cards.”
Agreed to go onto Family Fued because my Dad wanted to play.  The host was very flirty with the beautiful Mrs. DeVries.
Grandma’s mashed potatoes are a family favorite, enjoyed only a few times a year due to the huge amounts of unhealthy ingredients.  We waited eagerly all year to have them.  I’ve included the recipe below.  

Janice Huff DeVries 

February 22, 1931-December 2, 2013

October 14, 1954–Ordinarily it might be fun to be on the society page, but not so much for Janice, who had ditched work to go to the races!

At Knott’s Berry Farm with my sister Karla and cousins Janna and Jack

Celebrating 60 years of marriage. True soul mates Jack and Janice.

Grandma’s Famous Mashed Potatoes


  • Dozen potatoes
  • One block of cream cheese (8oz), softened
  • One cup sour cream
  • One stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and chop into chunks.  Boil in a large pot until soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain potatoes and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper to bowl.  Mix on medium until smooth.

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