Janine Marie-Louise Lytle, née Mangin, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2020. Janine was born in Nancy, France on May 3, 1928 to Georges Robert and Marie-Louise Mangin. Her father’s career as a gendarme (French military police) took his family to various locations in France. Janine was extremely close to her mother, an accomplished seamstress, who shared her good taste in music, culture and fashion with her daughter. Janine was always a brilliant, avid student, driven by excellence and a natural curiosity.
Her family’s lives were upended with the advent of WWII. In 1939 upon the closing of Strasbourg to all citizens except military personnel, she took refuge at her grandmother’s in Lorraine. With the invasion of Hitler’s Army in 1940, her father was transferred to the Paris region to serve in the military police.
It was because of the war that Janine met her husband, Donald Lytle. Originally from South Dakota, Don’s family had fled the devastation of the Dust Bowl and braved a grueling journey similar to that depicted in the novel The Grapes of Wrath before settling in Nyssa, Oregon. Don was drafted into the U.S. Army in his junior year of high school and sent first to England and then Normandy in December 1944. Don fought and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and was subsequently transferred to Versailles. It was there that Janine and Don’s lives intersected. They met on New Year’s Eve in 1945 at a party in Versailles, marked by a memorable kiss at midnight. They married on August 12, 1946, first at the city hall as required by French law, then at l’Eglise Sainte Genevieve, by a French priest and an American Army chaplain. Given their young ages, they had to ask permission from the U.S. Army, the French Government, and their parents – ironic given that Don was deemed old enough to be sent to war!
Don was shipped back to Oregon in 1946, and Janine, fashionably French in her fur coat and platform heels, joined him in Nyssa after a two-week journey by ship and train. They settled there and over the next 16 years welcomed six children. During this time, Janine began establishing lifelong friendships, making a point to seek out and befriend every other “war bride” she could find. Janine’s parents arrived from France in 1951 to retire and help with the thriving family. Her brother Jean, wife Josette and their daughter Christine joined them from France in 1955.
Janine resumed her studies after the birth of her sixth child, attending Treasure Valley Community College, then Northwest Nazarene College (NNC), and eventually earning a master’s degree from the University of Washington. Her prayers were answered when NNC offered her the position of professor of French language and culture, world literature and English composition. She treasured her experience as a member of the NNC community for 26 years, during which she was a vibrant and entertaining educator, affectionately known as “Madame” by her students and colleagues. She was also a proud long-term member of the American Association of University Women.
Over the years, Janine and Don joyfully embraced their roles as “Mémé and Poppy” to their several grand and great-grandchildren, even becoming great-great-grandparents late last year.
In addition to their unflagging devotion to their ever-growing family, Don and Janine were actively involved in various church activities, teaching catechism and lecturing, and they contributed generously to a large number of charities over the years. Upon retirement, Janine participated in numerous bible study groups. She shared her knowledge and love of the French language and culture for 20 years as president and treasurer of l’Alliance Française de Boise.
Deeply interested in people of other cultures and religions, Janine traveled frequently and widely, always with an open mind and heart.
Last year Don and Janine had reached the impressive milestone of 73 years of marriage.
In addition to her loving husband Don, she is survived by their six children: Nancy Callahan, Carey Lytle, Gina Lytle-Hassan, Michele Messmer (Tom), Elisabeth Neighbor (Dan), and Jacqueline Lytle (Jim Curran); their fourteen grandchildren: John Mulvehill (Christine), Kevin Mulvehill (Kimberly), James Mulvehill (Maria), Catherine Lambert (Jason), Alex Lytle (Jennifer), Fabio Lytle, Alexandre and Raphael Hassan, Jennifer Kevan (Josh), Bryan Warnock (Sarah), Monica Hoffpauir (Kyle), Benjamin Messmer, Dewey Neighbor and Madeleine Curran, as well as 18 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to Juanita Apodaca for her loving care of Janine during her final years of life.
Janine is predeceased by her parents, Georges and Marie-Louise Mangin, her brother and sister-in-law, Jean Mangin and Josette Blodgett, a son-in-law, Pierre-Jean Hassan and a beloved granddaughter, Natacha Hassan.
Visitation and Viewing will be held at 6:00 P.M. with Recitation of the Rosary following at 7:00 P.M. on Monday evening, March 2, 2020 at Nampa Funeral Home-Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. S., Nampa. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church, 510 W Roosevelt, Nampa, Idaho at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Burial will follow in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, Nampa. Donations can be made in Janine's name to the St. Paul's Education Foundation or flowers can be sent.
Janine leaves behind a beautiful legacy in her adoring family and all she touched during her long and extraordinary life. Her strength, intellect, sparkling personality, flair and elegance will be sorely missed by all.
Que Dieu bénisse son âme.
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