BIG FLATS – JANET BURGER APPIER, RN, BSN, MSN, ANP-CS – 76, died Thursday, November 18, 2021, at her home, following a lengthy illness.
“Once a nurse, always a nurse.” A phrase every nurse knows, but no truer words could describe Jan who spent her whole adult career of over 45 years as a nurse and nurse practitioner, touching the lives of countless people.
Janet Marie Burger was born on August 7, 1945 in Andover, the fifth child of William and Isabel (Wereley) Burger. She was a 1963 graduate of Andover Central School. Like her older sister, Phyllis, Jan pursued a nursing career. She attended St. James Hospital of Nursing in Hornell, graduating in 1966. On May 26, 1967, in Andover, she married James Appier, who survives.
In addition to her husband of 54 years, Jan is survived by two sisters-in-law, Kathleen Burger of Big Flats and Marjorie Burger of Hornell, as well as 13 nieces and nephews, and their children.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her siblings, Bernard (Rose Mary) Burger, Donald (Kay) Burger, Robert (Margie) Burger and Phyllis (Edward) Wilson; her “adopted siblings”, Clayton Burger and Jessie Burger (Newell) Baker, whom her parents raised after William’s brother died in an accident and nephew, George (Patti) Burger, the only child of Bernie and Rosie.
After having a mis-carriage with her first pregnancy, she and Jim did not have any children of their own. Over the years, they housed, advised and helped several individuals, many of whom remain close to this day and look up to Janet almost as a mother.
Following a couple short term RN staff positions in the Hornell area, she and Jim relocated to Corning in late 1967 where they found their forever home in Big Flats in 1976. There, Jan joined the nursing staff for Dr. Wayne C. Templer, where she worked for over 17 years until Dr. Templer’s retirement in 1985.
At this time, Jan returned to school and began working on her Bachelor’s degree through Alfred University with many classes completed at Corning Community College. Most of her college work being done while working full time at St. Joseph Hospital in Elmira. Her years at St. Joseph Hospital from 1987 through 1996 in the Acute Rehabilitation Department were most satisfying as she observed the progress of her patients.
Janet finally completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1991 from Alfred University and her Masters of Science in 1994 from Syracuse University and subsequently licensed as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 1995. The following year, she changed her position at St. Jos’s to the Occupational Health Department.
From 1997 through 1999, Jan taught full time at Elmira College in their Medical\Surgical and Rehabilitation Clinicals. Beginning in 1999, she took a position at Corning Hospital in the Woman’s Health Department (later Guthrie Hospital) until 2002. In 2003, she became a primary care provider for the Bath Veterans Administration Hospital in the in-patient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility until her retirement in July of 2008.
Jan was a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International, Elmira College Honor Society of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State; District 3 Professional Nurses and the Corning Area Women’s Club.
Jan loved people and cats, not necessarily in that order. She once gave her husband a card that said, “Next to the cat, I love you best!” She loved the friends she made in the sewing and quilting circles and the women she met as a Mary Kay Consultant. She remained very close to her original classmates from St. James and coordinated their annual reunions.
Jan loved to travel as time allowed. Jim surprised her with a live Elvis performance in Las Vegas and they toured Dollywood and the Gatlinburg area on another occasion, taking in the wonderful Christmas decorations. A weekend getaway or a boat ride on one of the local lakes was always a nice way to relax. Her favorite trips were the two-week trip to Scotland, their trip to California to celebrate their great-niece Nicole’s graduation from nursing school and their “farewell” tour in 2015 to visit family and friends at the beginning of Jan’s health decline. Though unable to attend her sister Phyllis’ granddaughter and her great-niece, Grace graduation from nursing school, Jan considered this as part of her legacy.
Jim would like to thank all those in the medical profession, including their staff, who supported them through these last seven difficult years.
Friends are invited for a time of visitation on Wednesday (November 24) from 1-4 p.m. at Haughey Funeral Home in Corning and on Friday (November 26) from 1-4 p.m. at Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover. The funeral service will be held on Saturday (November 27) at Baker-Swan Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Christian Mattison of the Andover Presbyterian Church officiating. Burial will follow in Valley Brook Cemetery in Andover. Online condolences may be offered at www.baker-swan.com.
Though the ultimate goal is to set up a memorial scholarship award for graduating seniors at Andover Central School for those wishing to pursue a medical career, memorial contributions in Jan’s name may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256; or Alzheimer’s Association, 435 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14620. © 2021 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.