In memory of
Janet Marie Walton "Nona" Gisleson
Janet Marie Walton Gisleson "Nona" passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family, friends and music on August 1st, 2019. She was born in New Orleans in 1942, the oldest of 5 daughters, and attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary and Holy Name of Jesus High School, where she was voted "Ideal Girl" by her classmates. At St. Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, she studied Christian Culture and met her husband of 47 years, Keith Eric Gisleson. Together they raised 8 children. Education, for herself and others, was a life-long passion; locally she taught at Ursuline Academy, St. Stephen School and Crescent Academy and at St. Peter's Elementary School in Washington D.C. and as a lay volunteer tutoring children for St. Patrick's Mission in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Everyone who knew Janet learned from her, through her extraordinary love for life, her intelligence, humor, curiosity, generosity, and above all an abiding kindness. Janet loved the symphony, plays, museums, travel, nature, poetry, and her many book clubs. Throughout her fruitful, creative and full life, she was sustained by deep friendships that spanned decades and thousands of miles. She cared very much about the condition of the world and the most vulnerable among us and prayed every day for peace and justice everywhere. From visiting inmates in Angola Prison to travelling to the Holy Land with bible scholars, experiencing the world was very important to Janet, as she believed that connection and engagement are essential to our humanity and building compassion. Though she endured suffering and painful loss at various times throughout her life, she made a conscious effort to be grateful, and to treat everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect, and worked hard through daily spiritual reflections and recognizing the everyday wonders of this life to maintain a generous and joyful attitude. Janet never took her faith or God's love for granted. She always sought ways to recommit to loving everyone with courage and fearlessness. Until the end, she continuously expressed her gratitude to the people around her, families, friends, helpful strangers and the entire staff at Touro Infirmary. Janet lived her favorite quote everyday: "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." (Henry James) Though she will be incredibly missed, her light will continue to shine through all who knew her. She is preceded in death by her parents Marjorie and John Walton, her husband Eric, her daughters Rachel and Rebecca and grandson Geronimo. She is survived by her sisters and their spouses, Dottie and Jean Geller, Sue Walton, Marian and John Jordan and Diana and Scott Gray; her children, their spouses and partners: John and Donna Gisleson, Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Bobby Palmer, Anne Gisleson and Brad Benischek, Susan Gisleson and Skip Stander, Soren and Alyisen Gisleson, Amy Gisleson and Jackie Spellman; grandchildren: Max, Celia, Kara, Talbot, Jojo, Grear, Silas, Otto, Jedediah, Violet, Lucy, Savannah, Dante and Ava, and many adored nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: The Poor Clares at St. Clares Monastery 720 Henry Clay Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118; New Orleans People Program at www.peopleprogram.org ; and Friends of Hubbell Library 725 Pelican Ave, New Orleans, LA 70114. Family and friends are invited to celebrate her life on Friday August 9th at Holy Name of Mary church in Algiers Point. Visitation from 11:00 to 1:00; mass at 1:00. Interment will be private. Professional services entrusted to Murray Henderson Funeral Home.
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