Jan Faiks, a former Alaska business owner, educator and the first woman in U.S. history elected to serve as a presiding officer of a State Senate, passed away on Monday, April 10, 2017 at the Warner Center for Caring in Amelia Island, Fl. She was 71.
Ms. Faiks had been diagnosed last year with brain cancer.
She was born November 17, 1945, to Edmund Frank and Anna Marie (Chupella) Ogozalek. Her father was a career Air Force officer, moving his family with him to assignments around the United States, Germany and France.
Ms. Faiks graduated from Florida State University with a BA degree in Mathematics Education and was a teacher, cheerleading coach and counselor for the Anchorage School District from 1968 to 1978. She was designated the district’s Outstanding Secondary Teacher in 1977.
She was an avid gardener, landscaper and founded “The Green Connection”, the first business to install indoor landscaping in the Prudhoe Bay oilfields.
Elected to the Alaska State Senate in 1982, she served two four year terms, chairing that chamber’s Rules, Finance and Judiciary committees before becoming its president.
The Republican Legislative Association named her Outstanding Legislator in America. Following her legislative career, she enrolled at the Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, D.C., earning a JD Degree. She was admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Faiks spent seven years as a congressional staffer and investigative council assigned to projects ranging from the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire rollover series of incidents to voting procedure following the George Bush-Al Gore presidential election.
Faiks, whose grandfather was a Pennsylvania coal miner, also served briefly as Assistant Secretary of Mine Safety and Health Administration with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
In 2001, she began work for the Washington, D.C. based Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association. She rose in three years from Assistant General Counsel to Vice President for Government Affairs directing the legal requirements of the 50 state lobbyists and state policy, regulatory and legislative bills associated with the group. She retired in 2013.
She loved animals and was known around Alaska for her stable of house-trained llamas. One of the animals was reported to have turned up in the Capital pressroom in Juneau.
Ms. Faiks is survived by her husband, Lloyd Jones, another former Alaska State Senator who later was U.S. Rep. Don Young’s chief of staff on the House Transportation Committee and his 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, a sister, Nance Jo Ogozalek, who lives in Soddy Daisy, TN and an uncle, Dr. Stan Carson who lives in Huntington Beach, CA.
Services will be held Wednesday April 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM in the Amelia Island Plantation chapel.