Snapshot: Janet “Jan” McKeown
Occupation: I have worked as a day care assistant for 16 years. My friend/neighbor runs the daycare from her house, so I have an easy commute. It’s been really fun seeing kids grow. We’ve had many sets of siblings. They are usually with us from one year until kindergarten. I do miss them when they leave, but we often keep in touch with the families.
Family: I live with my husband of 30 years, Cole, and our two children, Jonah and Heather.
Pets: We have two shelties, Sophie and Stanley. Sophie is 5½ and Stanley will be 4 on November 18. We also have a cat, Humphrey, who is 4. He totally rules the roost. He thinks he’s a dog. The three of them play well together. It’s really fun to watch.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I grew up in Newtown. We moved here in 1969. I’ve seen lots of changes, not all for the best in my opinion. There has been so much development. But I guess that’s supposed to be progress. Now I sound like an old crab!
What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I like spending time outside with our dogs and hiking. I like to work outside around the house. I also dance at BeYOUtiful at Lathrop School of Dance. In total I have danced there for 26 years. I started when I was seven and the school was run by Mac and Ginny Lathrop. I absolutely loved them. They were such a class act. Midway through college I stopped dancing and took a long break. I got married, raised children, and then when my daughter started dancing there, I wanted to go back, too. So I did and I still love it. The school is now owned by Miss Tamra and she has done a fantastic job. And my new obsession during COVID-19 has been working out with IsaacBoots on Instagram. If you haven’t tried it, you should!
What is your favorite travel destination? My favorite travel destination now is Virginia Beach. We get a big house, and my brother and his family come, as well as my friend from high school and her daughter. The beach is the best.
What is the best part about Newtown? There are many nice things about Newtown. For me, it has a comfortable, at home feeling. Growing up here, I suppose it’s part of me. As you can tell from my earlier comments, I’m saddened about the development that has happened. But it still has a small town charm. Especially during the holidays. I love the pancake breakfast tradition and holiday celebrations.
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? It’s hard to pick one person who has been the biggest influence. My parents, for sure, but my grandparents, too. I was fortunate to have all four of my grandparents alive until my early twenties.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? I would spend the day with my Grandpa Lou. He was such an impressive figure growing up and I wish I could have asked him more questions about our family history. His father owned a butcher shop in The Bronx during the early 1900s. I have many old photos from that time period, which I love.
Who is your favorite musical artist? It’s hard to pick a favorite musical artist, but I do love Brendon Urie, the lead singer for Panic at the Disco. But I listen to everything from the ’70s through current music.