Better Know a Volunteer: Jan Nofziger

Pop quiz: Can you name someone at Alderwood Manor Heritage Association who was in the first graduating class of Meadowdale High School? One answer is Jan (Canfield) Nofziger.

Jan was born in Seattle, but her family moved to Beech Road in Alderwood Manor the following year to a three-acre chicken farm. After graduating from Meadowdale in 1965, she attended Seattle Pacific College, where she received a B.A. in Elementary Education.

Following college, Jan got married and moved to Ohio for Voluntary Service with the Mennonite Central Committee.  There, she and her husband, Stephen, became house parents for intellectually disabled and troubled boys for two years. The Nofzigers moved back to western Washington when their time in Voluntary Service was over.

Jan first heard about AMHA from Doris Nelson, and got involved when she read an article in the newspaper asking for class pictures from Alderwood Manor Grade School. She says her favorite part of being a member and volunteer at AMHA is “meeting and talking to people who grew up here,” and finding people “with whom I shared a childhood and memories.”

As a volunteer at AMHA, Jan is a host and just recently finished her term as a board member and the AMHA treasurer. She also spent 20 years volunteering at Stevens Hospital, working first at the courtesy desk running errands throughout the hospital, then at the information desk, and finally at the volunteer office, “being a ‘girl Friday.’” In her spare time she knits, reads, does crossword puzzles and sudoku, and spends time with her grandchildren. She’s also a fabulous baker – you may have won one of her scrumptious cookie baskets at the Chicken Dinner raffle.

You may know of Jan and her in-laws in another way without even realizing it. The Nofizger family began, and still runs, A House of Clocks on Highway 99 at 156th St SW. The building itself was originally a gas station, and in the early 1960s housed Carlton’s Gift Shop. The Nofziger family moved to Lynnwood from Ohio, and in 1963, Dale Nofziger, Jan’s father-in-law and a clockmaker, bought the building that would become A House of Clocks. From there he fixed clocks, and the company later began making and selling Ansonia clocks nationwide, as well.

So the next time someone asks you, “Who was in the first graduating class of Meadowdale High?” you can say, “Why, Jan Nofziger was in that class!”

Jan (Canfield) Nofziger and Santa Claus

Jan (Canfield) Nofziger and Santa Claus at AMHA’s 2014 Open House