Janis Worthen Champion

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Janis Worthen Champion, of Oxford, died on June 3, 2024, at the age of 74. Born on May 5, 1950, in Tupelo, she was the beloved daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Whitfield Worthen.

Jan accomplished much in her life. She graduated with highest honors from Tupelo High School, where she was not only the Homecoming Queen but also the Key Club Sweetheart and a cheerleader. Jan was inducted into the Tupelo High School Hall of Fame, a testament to her outstanding achievements.

Continuing her academic success, Jan graduated with highest honors from the University of Mississippi, receiving the prestigious Taylor Medal Award in secondary education. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, an academic honorary, as well as Mortar Board. Jan served as the President of Delta Delta Delta sorority and the Student Education Association, showcasing her leadership skills and dedication to education. She was also honored as the Sweetheart of Sigma Nu Fraternity and was recognized in Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.

Email newsletter signup

After completing her education, Jan began teaching, positively impacting the lives of countless students at Jackson Preparatory School, Oxford Junior High and Pillow Academy. Upon leaving the teaching profession, Jan entered the retail business with her husband as the owners of J. Kantor’s in Greenwood.

Outside of her professional life, Jan was deeply involved in the Greenwood community. She served as President of the Greenwood Junior Auxiliary and held the position of Regional Director of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries. Jan was also active in various organizations including serving as President of the Delta Garden Club. She was an active member of North Greenwood Baptist Church, where she served as a children’s Sunday school teacher, bible school teacher, and participated in various church committees.

Additionally, she served as President of the Parents and Patrons of Pillow Academy. A loyal supporter of Ole Miss, Jan served as Chapter Advisor of the Chi Chapter of Delta Delta Delta, and a member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Board of Directors.

Jan was preceded in death by her loving parents, George and Dooka Worthen, as well as her devoted husband, Bobo Champion. She is survived by her cherished children, Sallie Kate Covington and Chris Champion, whose lives she enriched with boundless love and guidance.

Jan leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion, embodied in her grandchildren: Sarah Kinley Covington, Amelia Champion, and Worth Champion, who will forever carry her memory in their hearts. In addition, she is survived by her brother George (Anne) Worthen Jr., sister Jennie (John) Fields and brother-in-law Dr. James Bush Jr., as well as nieces and nephews.

Jan’s multifaceted contributions to her family and community exemplify a life lived with purpose, generosity, and unwavering dedication. A service to celebrate Jan’s remarkable life was held on June 7 with burial in Oxford’s St. Peters Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Champion Scholarship Fund for higher education at Pillow Academy to continue to honor the lives of Jan and Bobo.