January 14, 1950 – October. 3, 2022
Janice “Jeanne” Maxine McQuillain Duhon of Natchitoches took her first breath in heaven on October 3, 2022, after a brave battle with cancer. She was 72 years old.
Jan was born in Monroe to parents Nina and Arvel McQuillan on January 14, 1950. She grew up near Calvin and graduated from Calvin High School, where she became a talented musician and singer and made lifelong friends.
Jan was the first in her family to attend college, and that was her dear father’s goal. She received her BA in Education from Northwestern State University in 1972. Always up for an adventure, she moved to New Iberia to teach when she and some of her classmates learned of the teacher shortage in that part of the state. Jan then moved to Brunei, a country on the northern coast of Borneo Island in Southeast Asia. She lived in Asia for nearly five years and taught in an American school. On her last trip from Louisiana to Brunei, she flew there across the Pacific and crossed back home across the Atlantic, ensuring she flew the entire world. She returned to Natchitoches and received her Master of Arts in Education from Northwestern State University. She then moved to Lafayette and studied at Lafayette Parish Schools. After retiring from teaching and returning to Natchitoches, she has worked for Dyess Law Firm for over 10 years. She was affectionately known as “Mrs. Jan” in the law firm, and became friends with many clients and co-workers.
She believed that people were not too old to go to college, and she encouraged many adults to continue their educational pursuits. I realized the importance of lifelong learning, whether it was the pursuit of personal interests and passions or the pursuit of professional ambitions. To her personal satisfaction, she achieved an additional Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Grambling State University, and a private investigator agency license from the State Board of Examiners for Private Investigators. She even went to a truck driving school and got her commercial driver’s license (“CDL”). She then used CDL and drove 18 wheels across 43 of the 48 continental US states in less than four months.
Jan was a selfless mother – often making sacrifices to ensure the success of her daughters. She has led by example in showing that a woman can do anything. She could copy a horse trailer better than anyone, and this skill was useful as she transported horses and children around the country for horse shows. She was an avid reader of all genres, keeping up with news, politics, and other current events. She was an animal lover above all else. Over the course of her life, her pets included a monkey (in Brunei), an orphaned skunk, rabbits, horses, sheep, fish, a pig, and countless dogs and cats. A stray animal never went hungry in January, even if it meant giving the animal its own food. Many of these strays have ended up as beloved pets.
Jean is survived by two daughters, Desiree Dyce (Dan) and Angelique Friel (Andy), and, in her words, “three exceptional grandchildren she is blessed with – Drew, Corinne and Jacob Friel.” She is also survived by her two-step-kids, Chase Dyce (Sarah) and Katherine Seeger (Tommy); Five steps to great-grandchildren. and three daughters, Jennifer Pierce Paul, Stacey Pierce Joffrion and Rebecca Jarrett.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Nina and Arvel McQuillain. Machin’s brother Garrett; and her sister Jacqueline Pearce.
Jane will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her. Many thanks to WA, Brenda, Rebekah, James, neighbors Wayne and Sally, and the late Lisa for the friendship, encouragement, and hours of conversation he provided Jan.
After a special service, Jan will be buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for a donation to battered women, a woman’s shelter or an animal shelter of your choice.
The family would like to thank her caregivers and the Hospice of Natchitoches.
Condolences to the family can be offered at www.rose-neath.com
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