Janet Byrne Watts

January 27th, 1928September 12th, 2022

A true lady and rock of goodness for her family, Janet Byrne Butler Watts passed away peacefully on September 12, 2022. Her kindness and ability to make everyone she met feel special will be missed by all.

Janet's parents, Leo William Butler and Louise Maria Turner, ensured her arrival was carefully planned. Louise had graduated from nursing school at St. Luke's Hospital in Denver and insisted this was the only place she would have her precious baby. Since the couple did not have a car at the time to travel the thirty miles from Fort Lupton to Denver, Leo arranged for a car and chauffer company from the Ford Motor Company to be on standby. Janet arrived in style on January 27, 1928.

Growing up in the small town of Fort Lupton, Janet took lessons in dance, singing, piano, and elocution. She practiced piano every morning at 6:00 a.m. right outside her parent's bedroom. She loved playing and riding bikes with her best friend. On Saturdays she would go to the Star Theatre to watch the double feature. And when it was over, she'd stay and watch both movies again, until the usher would find her to let he know her father was patiently waiting in the lobby to take her home for dinner.

She graduated from Fort Lupton High School in 1946. Janet loved school, her favorite activity was the May Day Fete, and when she was 12, she was named Queen of the Fete.

In high school, Janet developed a love for English and Journalism. She wrote for the school paper, the Blue and White Courier. She even attempted to write an anonymous letter to the editor of the Fort Lupton Press about the lack of activities for the youth in town, but her writing style prevented her anonymity.

Janet attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and received a degree in Journalism. It was at CU she met George Watts from Louisville. George was encouraged to ask Janet to dance, and after a few gaffs in the conversation, they fell in love. They were married September 28, 1952, at St Andrews Episcopal Church in Fort Lupton.

George and Janet spent 53 joyous years togehter. They were adventurous often taking off for vacation without a planned destination. Among their favorite destinations were trips to Steamboat, Santa Fe, The Snowy Ridge, La Jolla, new York City and visiting family.

Janet brought joy to many people's lives over the years by doing many selfless acts, including putting together the wedding reception for her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Judy Watts, adding the finishing touches to birthday and church celebrations by bringing "The Chocolate Cake", delivering many cookies from her "Crumbie Cookie Factory", and writing beautifully handwritten letters full of wonderful news and messages.

After college, Janet worked for the Mountain Bell Telephone Company as a Customer Analyst in Denver and Boulder. She then went on to be a Data Clerk for the Mental Health Center of Boulder County.

Janet lived a life of service to her community. As a member of the Democratic Party, she was given the nickname "The Hoof and Mouth" volunteer because she would walk neighborhood after neighborhood talking about the issues with anyone who would listen. And let's face it, who could shut the door in Janet's sweet face? She was a lifelong Episcopalian, and a member of St John's Episcopal Church where she volunteered for the Alter Guild and was elected to The Vestry Board. Other groups include PEO, The Carillon Play Readers Group, book clubs, and many Bible study groups. Whenever she could, she would help the homeless on the street.

A native of Colorado, she was proud of her heritage. All of Janet's grandparents arrived in Colorado in the 1870's. Adam and Alice Butler came from Ireland to mine and prospect for gold. Peter and Elizabeth Turner traveled across the plains from Red Oak, Iowa and eventaully founded Berthoud, Colorado.

Janet will be missed by her family, friends, and anyone who met her.

Janet was blessed with a beautiful life and a peaceful passing. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Judy Watts of Longmont, CO; nephews and nieces, Leo William "Bill" Butler III of Green Bay, WI, Christine Burkhardt of Washington, DC, Beverly (David) Liddell of Lynnwood, WA, Paul (Susan) Butler of Hermitage, PA, John (Missy) Watts of Overland Park, KS, Judd (Kori) Watts of Longmont, CO, and Kathleen Livingston of Fort Lupton, CO; great nephews and nieces include Michael Butler, Morgan Liddell, Maria (Russ) Van Swoll, Ronald (Bree) Livingston, Nicholas (Chinda) Livingston, Leah Liddell, Brian Liddell, Hailey Hopper-Graf, Hannah Watts, Morgan Watts, Addison Watts, and Mason Watts; as well as four great-great nephews and nieces.

Janet was preceded in death by her husband, George; her parents; Aunt Mary Butler; sister, Kerby Louise Mumma; brother, Leo William "Bill" Butler II, and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Janet's name to St John's Episcopal Church or Bridge House in Boulder.


A celebration of Janet's life will be at St John's Episcopal Church on Saturday, September 24 at 11:00 AM.