Janet Long Trinkaus, 76, of Bellingham, WA, passed away Friday, July 12th. She died in her sons embrace after a three year battle with cancer. During her life, Janet was a force of nature who broke conventions, loved art and music, laughed with abandon, and was always there for people in need.
She was born to the late Nellie (Biggs) and Paul E. Long, May 9, 1937 in East Stroudsburg, PA. Janet graduated from New Kensington High School, New Kensington, PA and went on to study at Westminster College and Syracuse University. In 1959, while attending Syracuse, she married George Trinkaus, a student at nearby Colgate University. In 1961, Janet graduated from Syracuse with a BA in Business Administration. Following their respective graduations, George and Janet moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. They remained in the village until their divorce in 1965.
Janets business career included working at PepsiCo world headquarters in Manhattan, co-owning a furniture manufacturing business in Morristown, NJ and a restaurant in Bridgewater, VT. She also worked as an independent business consultant. In 1981, she relocated to Bellevue, WA where she worked in commercial real estate for seven years and managed Overlake Radiation Oncology.
In 1988 she founded Rise n Shine, a non-profit agency which supports children and families who are affected by HIV/AIDS. She continued to serve as Rise n Shines Founding Director until the end of her life. During her tenure at Rise n Shine she received many accolades including the Jefferson Award for public service, the Giraffe Award (for sticking her neck out), one of Safecos first Rudy Awards for being a Beacon of Light in our Community, and the Champion of Mentoring award from Washington State Mentors. More important to her than the awards was her dedication to the children, teens and families of Rise n Shine.
On Janets 76th birthday, she announced that Rise n Shine would be changing its name to Inspire Youth Project and would be expanding services to include at-risk children coming out of therapeutic daycare. She lived to see only the beginnings of the implementation of this new direction for the organization, but the strength of the non-profit she leaves behind will assure that her legacy of helping children will live on. In this spirit, Janets family is requesting donations be made to the Inspire Youth Project (417 23rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144) not only in lieu of flowers, but also to honor Janets love and passion for creating positive influences for children at risk.
Janet is survived by her son Stephen Trinkaus, daughter-in-law Jillian Trinkaus, grandson Cody Trinkaus, and sister Nancy Long Stratford, and was predeceased by a younger sister, Mary Katherine Long Sickmond.
Farewell Tribute Information
We will come together to celebrate her life and her passion at a memorial service in Seattles Town Hall (1119 Eighth Avenue, at Seneca Street) on Thursday, August 15th starting at 6:00 PM.