Janet Marie Christiansen was born June 19th, 1979 into the loving arms of her parents, Janet and Val Christiansen. Also awaiting her were her older siblings, Dena, Brad, Valanie, Sonja, and Krista. Janet was preceded in death by her older sister, Gaynelle, who passed in February, 1982. Janet was the older sister to Erika, Richard and Mark.
Described by her brother, Brad, Janet was a well-tempered, easy-going child, always smiling. "There was just something about her angelic demeanor that wouldn't permit me to not like her," he fondly remembered.
Early in her childhood, it was apparent Janet had a natural talent for soccer, as other parents noted she was a “skinny little girl who could play better than the boys.” Janet also realized early on the importance of being a team leader and a good role model for younger players. These were values instilled in Janet by her family and her faith.
In a letter to thirteen year old Janet, her father wrote,
“It is easy to be caught up in the false values of the world, which consist mostly of material things and self-interest. The reason for this, I think is that it seems to be an easy way for each of us to measure our self-worth, that is, by what we have, or what we have achieved in school, sports, etc. These things are how the world measures how important we are. Your challenge is to understand how important you are to me, your mother and to Father in Heaven. With us, you do not have to prove anything. You are accepted for who you are.”
Janet’s unwavering faith and responsibility were made clear in her teen years, when she made the high school basketball team. After realizing that practice would not be over until sometimes ten at night, she told the coach she would not be able to be on the team as it would interfere with her early morning paper route and Seminary. At Janet’s memorial service, Brad Christiansen stated, "Janet had an unwavering faith in God and was true to her covenants and commitments. Janet relied on Our Heavenly Father and the comfort and guidance of the Holy Ghost. She followed inspiration, even when the answers she received may not have been the ones she wanted to hear. Although she was laid-back, she still never took the easy way out."
Janet continued to play and excel at soccer throughout high school until graduating from Annandale High School in 1997. Janet met her college roommate, Adrienne in the summer of 1998. A fellow soccer player, Adrienne and Janet became close friends. Memorializing Janet, Adrienne shared, "There was always something about Janet that made me want to be around her and get to know her better. She had an uplifting spirit about her that made you feel good about yourself. She pushed others to be better people and athletes in her own quiet way. She was a quiet competitor, always putting forth 100% in sports and school, so she could be the best. At the same time she never made anyone feel inferior. She had a way of inspiring you to be the best you could.” Adrienne continued about “Janet's honesty, loyalty, commitment, her easy-going attitude, and so many more attributes. She is known by her mother as her little angel, and rightfully so."
Janet excelled in college both academically and athletically, receiving many honors such as 1998 & 1999 NSCAA Champion in soccer, USCAA player of the week October 1, 2001, USCAA All-tournament team in 2002, Academic All-American in 2001 & 2002, and Presidents honor roll 4.0 GPA.
In August of 2000, Janet married Raven Abaroa.
Janet gave birth to the joy of her life, Kaiden, on October 17, 2004. Prior to his birth, she expressed worry to her friend, Adrienne, that she was afraid she wouldn’t love the baby enough. Once born, there was no doubt about her bond with Kaiden, telling her friends that she never knew she could love someone so much, and that she knew the Lord had blessed her with a beautiful baby boy. It was noted that she carried Kaiden everywhere, not wanting to put him down for a moment. She would lovingly caress his cheek while seeming to get lost in his eyes. Janet truly enjoyed being a mother.
"Janet's testimony had grown so much since the day I met her,” Adrienne added. “Janet would say, ‘we have to trust God with everything, because He knows how much we can take’ and my testimony has grown because of that. She is here with us in spirit, and one day we will each embrace her again and celebrate with our Lord."
Another college friend, Brittney, said of Janet, “She always could bring a smile to my face, no matter what the circumstances. Everything just seemed a little better, a little lighter, a little easier with Janet around.” Brittney added that after she’d moved far away, “When things seemed like they couldn’t get bleaker, Janet would remind me to keep things in perspective. She bore her testimony of the Temple and the Gospel.” Continuing, “She reminded me we are children of God, He never leaves us.”