Janet L. Hiatt, of Cleveland, Ohio, died Jan. 12, 2021 of COVID-19, at Life Care Hospice, Wooster, Ohio. Janet was born in Cleveland, on Dec. 4, 1931, to George F. and Mathilda E. (Schneider) Young, subsequently adopted by Paul S. Ryan on Nov. 27, 1940, along with her younger brother Gil (Maureen) Ryan. Janet was a graduate of John Marshall High School, and entered the US Air Force in 1950. She was married briefly to another soldier. Her union with DeLoe Robert Hiatt, Jr. produced 4 children: DeLoe R. (Hiatt III) Mathatas of Wooster, Ohio, Robin Hiatt (who died in 1996), Bart Hiatt, of Silver City, NM, and Bret Hiatt, of Greater Cleveland. She has 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, of whom only one was close to her.
The family is grateful to Michele Matteson and Victoria Devore of Matteson Funeral Home who handled the arrangements, and to the Cuyahoga County Veterans Commission. Memorial gifts can be made to the Institute of Learning in Retirement, the Cuyahoga County Parks system, or the Cuyahoga Public Library. Or, feed stray cats. More information on Janet’s life can be found at mattesonfh.com
Janet loved books, writing, books, cats, books, poetry, books, cats and classical music. Her restless, inquisitive nature gave her a thirst for knowledge, taking her to Cleveland State, where she earned a BA in her 50’s. She wrote extensively all her life, and was published on several occasions. Many of her employment opportunities were in sales, or in office positions. While her undiagnosed, lifelong battle with bi-polar disorder made many of her personal and professional relationships fraught with tensions, yet she sought peace in numerous ways. Her volunteering spirit led her to the Cuyahoga Parks system, and as a literacy mentor in Parma schools. She loved the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Berea College, and found kindred spirits in the Bards, formed from fellow students there. The Cleveland Orchestra was a joy to her at both Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. She had fond memories of growing up on the West Side of Cleveland and her extended family’s life near the Sachsenheim Hall, in the 30’s and 40’s, sharing her memories through her writing and poems.
Janet’s ashes were interred in the Veterans section of West Park Cemetery, near her daughter Robin, and not far from her parents. Janet composed this haiku for a workshop with ILR, and expanded it on the death of a member of the Bards, Christina Kerns: “We are here without/ reason, light as air, birds drifting/ on unseen streams. And so we try to/ make our lives into something/ rare, sweet, forever here. When gone, we are gone. What is left is our essence/ forever in others. Never gone, but here/ birthing on forever/ rare, sweet, forever here.