Jan Breitenfeldt

 


Jan (Janice) Marie Breitenfeldt was born in Wolf Point, Montana on June 10th, 1957 to Dorothy and Leo Zimmer. She was tragically killed May 19th, 2019 in a vehicle accident along with her daughter, Skye Breitenfeldt, while returning home to Whitehall from an American Kennel Club (AKC) conformation dog show in Logan, UT.

Jan is survived by her husband of 30 years Todd Breitenfeldt, son Matthew Combs of Billings, MT, daughter Sari (Breitenfeldt) Dersam of Laramie, WY, and mother Dorothy Zimmer of Wolf Point, MT. She was the oldest of 7 siblings including brothers James Zimmer of Anchorage, AK, Tim Zimmer of Oswego, MT, Bill Zimmer of Park City, MT, and Loren Zimmer of Wolf Point, MT, and sisters Mary (Zimmer) Beil of Reed Point, MT, and Teresa (Zimmer) Jones of Hinsdale, MT. Also Todd's parents Dorvan and Diane Breitenfeldt of Cheney, WA, and sisters Cathy (Breitenfeldt) Smith of Medical Lake, WA, and Lisa Breitenfeldt of East Valley, WA, as well as her special friend Judie Lucas of New Meadows, ID.


Jan grew up riding horses on the ranch and as the oldest sibling was very involved in taking care of her rambunctious younger siblings. She graduated from Wolf Point High School where she was active in Drama and excelled in academics.

Jan earned a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Montana, Missoula. She worked as a pharmacist in several Montana locations including St. James Community Hospital, Butte and Whitehall Drug, Whitehall. She enjoyed all aspects of the pharmacy profession but loved hospital pharmacy and compounding the best. For the past decade she worked as a relief pharmacist throughout Montana so she could schedule working around dog shows which were her passion. In recent years she spent most of her work time at Option Care in Bozeman and Driscoll Drug in Butte.

Jan enjoyed machine knitting, playing the violin and piano, shopping, auctions, and was a voracious reader. She loved to learn new subjects and was currently studying violin on-line and was creating on-line classes. Jan was a superb cook and loved to bake. Tradition was very important to her. Her holiday meals, baked goods and caramels are legendary and her cooking at events such as AKC pointing dog field trials was a sure crowd pleaser. An engrossing hobby for Jan was soap making (soaping). Many of her artistically designed and intriguingly scented soaps looked "good enough to eat". Her unscented soaps and shampoos were very appreciated by family and friends during big game season. Jan also liked snow skiing and enjoyed traveling. She and her husband Todd lead EF Educational Tours involving high school students to locations including Mexico, several European tours, and Egypt.


Jan's true passion was showing and breeding Pekingese dogs, as well as mentoring others with dog showing. Several of her Pekes are ranked nationally in AKC dog showing and advanced to Bronze and Silver level Grand Championships. She also bred and owned Oscar, the smallest known Pekingese to earn an AKC Championship and Grand Championship. Jan was a member of the Helena Kennel Club and the Montana Brittany Club (MTBC) and served as the secretary of several MTBC Field Trials and most recently of an MTBC pointing dog Hunt Test near Billings in April.

Jan was well known and respected in the dog show world. Her presence and beautiful Pekingese will be sorely missed at dog shows throughout the west.

Jan was a quiet, modest person who was fiercely loyal to family and friends. Jan was appalled at the "current divisive political climate in this great country." She was disappointed in extremism on both ends of the spectrum. Jan advocated for "fair, compassionate, reasonable, cooperative, science-based decision making."

The family offers a special Thank You to the wonderful Whitehall community and to the many superb people who reached out and offered support.

Jan will be deeply, deeply missed by all whose lives she touched.

 

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