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Janet Masters

Locations: Obituaries Published

May 20, 1927 – March 24, 2022

Janet Masters, 94, quietly passed on March 24 at home in Basalt. She was known and loved for her exuberance and determination to have her home and her way of life, her way.

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Janet Sheila Ross Caldwell was born in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada to Elsie Gillies and William R. Caldwell on May, 20 1927. It was the same day that Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Caldwell and Gillies clans were the two iconic Scottish lumbermen of Lanark County and Carleton Place. She grew up between the Caldwell’s Loch End Ranch and the Gillies’ “Ross Dhu” homestead. 

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During World War II, Janet boarded at the Elmwood School for Girls in Ottawa with European evacuees, including Beatrix, the future Queen of The Netherlands. After the war, she briefly attended McGill University in Montreal and the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, where she lived with her cousin Ruth. In 1947 she and Ruth moved to Los Angeles, California, and her life changed forever. 

In the University of Southern California business office, Janet was responsible for distributing checks to the work-study students. Warner Masters instantly fell in love with Janet when he one day went to collect his check as a dishwasher. They were married for 60 years. 

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Janet made it her life’s work to support her husband in every way. She was a consummate homemaker — a flawless hostess and accomplished chef — who always dressed beautifully and strived to make her many guests feel welcomed. Janet remained a loyal Canadian Scot her entire life, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen 35 years after she arrived. 

Janet and Warner lived for 20 years with their family in Tarzana, California. With their children grown, they moved to Westlake Village, and later to Sedona, Arizona, where they gained a wide circle of friends. They eventually retired to Rockwood, Colorado. Ardent travelers, they enjoyed many vacations on mostly small ships in Alaska, the Baltic and Panama, among other cruises. They continued hiking in the mountains, glamping in the Yosemite High Sierra Camps and the Canadian Rockies and embarking on frequent road and train trips in the U.S. and Canada. 

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Janet’s favorite train trip was the annual Snowball Special from Los Angeles to Sun Valley for a week-long Gemütlichkeit with friends and ski instructors. Once a Girl Guide Leader, Janet loved the outdoors; skiing, camping and mountain hiking were constant endeavors during her adult life, as well as tennis and golf. A long-time dog lover, she cared and nurtured many, including her last rescue who was by her side at the end.

Janet is survived by her three children: Lindy Masters, Basalt; Bill (Jill) Masters, Telluride, and John (Maura) Masters, Carbondale. Grammy Jan had nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

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