Trustee Remembered

janna-collageJanna Lee Countryman passed away at her Dallas residence on February 1, 2015.

‘Janna Lee’, a perfectly fitting Texas name for an all ‘round Texas girl. Janna was born in July of 1962. She grew up in and spent her entire career in northeast Texas. Her formative years were spent at Tyler, Ft. Worth and Hurst schools. Her college career began at Tyler Junior College but she earned her J.D. from Baylor Law School in 1986.

John Talton commented, “I came to Tyler, Texas, almost 20 years ago as the Staff Attorney for Michael Gross. Not long after my arrival, the U.S. Trustee decided to split off the Sherman and Texarkana Divisions.” Janna was appointed Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for this new office in January of 1999. Talton continued, “I met her when she came to Mike’s office to pack up the case files and we spent an hour getting to know each other. Years later, when I was appointed Trustee, Janna always made time to take my calls and was influential in teaching me about being a Trustee. I valued her opinion and suggestions and I considered Janna not only a colleague but a friend. I am deeply saddened by her untimely death and the bankruptcy community has suffered a great loss.”

Prior to being appointed as a Trustee, Janna worked on the creditor side of consumer bankruptcy with Brice, Vander Linden & Wernick, PC.

At the time of her death, she served as Chapter 13 and Chapter 12 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Texas with her office in Plano. She was an active member of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees. Robert Wilson, NACTT President, remembered fondly, “Janna was always willing to participate as a speaker or in any other capacity. I never knew her to turn down anyone when they needed help. She did not take herself too seriously and certainly did not put on airs or pretend she was something she was not.”

She loved to travel and to feel the sunshine on her face. She loved spending time with family and friends. And ‘spending time’ didn’t generally mean sitting around – Janna loved to go and to do and have fun. One friend stated: “You could count on Janna to start the party. She led the charge to ‘kiss the pig’ for luck during a luau at mid-year 2013.”

“Janna was my teacher and my friend and my life is forever changed from knowing her! She will be greatly missed.” Amy Shusterman, friend and former employee.

Janna loved her family and friends and especially her sweet puppy, Sparky.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd. Tyler, 75701.

Services are Monday, February 9, in the chapel of Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home with Rev. Glenn Jones officiating. Private burial will be in Cathedral of the Pines cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service.

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