of Chelsea, Michigan, formerly of Carleton, Michigan, Age 91, passed away Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at her home in the Chelsea Retirement Community (UMRC).
Jan was born July 8, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Maurice A. and Alice Louise (Creuwenare) Ostyn. She graduated from Wayne High School in 1950 and then attended Cleary College. On August 28, 1954, Jan married Alvin Trent Van Houten in Carleton. Jan worked as a bookkeeper at the Auston Oil Company in Wayne until 1955, after which her attention was focused on family and raising six children. During the late 70's, she worked as a secretary at the Airport Community School District, retiring in 1991. Jan was always passionate about art and as her children grew and time allowed, Jan returned to painting which she pursued with joy and curiosity for the rest of her life. Jan was a member of the Carleton United Methodist Church, the Monroe Art League, the Monroe County Homemakers of Extension, and the Carleton Historical Society. Jan and Alvin enjoyed traveling and visiting family throughout the United States. Most recently, she continued making art at Chelsea Retirement Community.
Jan and Alvin were fortunate to share 66 years together until Al’s death on October 6, 2020. Jan is survived by her children, Susan (Tim Powell) Van Houten of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Gary (Susan) Van Houten of Edmonds, Washington, Thomas (Roxanne) Van Houten of Oscoda, Michigan, Jeff (Phill Oggero) Van Houten of Sonoma, California, James (Linda) Van Houten of Greenville, Michigan, and Patricia (Chris Sedgwick)Van Houten of Chicago, Illinois; brothers Rene (Carol) Ostyn, and George (Renee) Ostyn; sister, Yvonne Williams; 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and 4 siblings.
A memorial service will be held Monday, November 20, 2023, at 10AM at the Chelsea Retirement Community Chapel, with Rev. Jeanette Brenner officiating. In lieu of flowers, we ask that friends consider memorial contributions to any of the following three organizations:

The Monroe Art League       
c/o Becky Mullins, Treasurer  
11758 S. Dixie Hwy
Erie, MI 48133
The Carleton United Methodist Church 
11435 Grafton Rd 
Carleton, MI 48117 
UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation
 805 W. Middle St
Chelsea, MI. 48118-1369

You may use the form below to share a memory or leave a public message for Jan's family. Please allow 24 hours for us to review and post your comment. 


#8 Lee Ann Morgan 2023-11-20 16:01
Dear cousins,
I was very saddened to learn of Aunt Jan’s passing. All who were a part of her life were fortunate to receive her care and love and witness her zest for life. Not only was she very intelligent but also amazingly creative. More than that, family meant so much to her. When she texted with or talked to me she wanted to inform me of what was happening with her children, grand- and great-grandchil dren. Did I mention that she texted? Being the quick study that she was she seemed to know that this was the way to stay connected with her family. I was very impressed that she had the interest and ability to tackle technology as she did. I agree with Eve (above) “Jan was a force to be reckoned with.” May she be at peace! Sending love to all of you!
#7 Tracy Cleland 2023-11-20 12:45
To the Van Houten Family,
We are so sorry for your loss. So many fond memories growing up with the Van Houten’s on Carter Road. We just want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. May your Mom rest in peace!
Tracy & Debbie Cleland
#6 John & Robim Darnbro 2023-11-20 09:24
Jan will always hold a place close in our hearts. We were fortunate to see her and Al at many family functions. We will miss their company. We will treasure the many art pieces we've received over tje years. She was so blessed by the love and care her children gave her and may you all be comforted by special memories. With Love!
#5 Sherry Wilde 2023-11-19 13:46
Dear Van Houten Family:
So sorry for your loss, your mother and dad were Mike and our Rocks. They were lovely people and we enjoyed living on Briar Hill with them. After Jan left so did Mike and I, it wasnt the same .We will always cherish the time we had with our neighbors. I will always cherish your moms christmas ornaments she gave me . May she rest in peace with her beloved AL
Mike and Sherry Wilde
#4 Gladys Drummonds 2023-11-18 22:09
It was my great privilege to know Jan and enjoy her friendship. She was a lovely person and a very talented artist. We were both members of the Monroe Art League and had many conversations over the years as well as working together on many projects. She will be missed by her many friends. My sympathies go out to her many family members that I know are feeling her loss at this time.
#3 Sharon Gingras 2023-11-18 17:01
Susan and family, I'm sending sincere condolences and prayers to you all. I feel so fortunate to have met Jan when you and Tim came up and we went to dinner together. What a lovely lady she was. I'm going to try to attend the service but unfortunately, I was asked to work for a friend who has another commitment that day. I'll find out on Monday morning if I will be able to attend. Please know that I will be thinking of you all if I am unable to . Love you.
#2 Eve Weatherholt 2023-11-17 14:09
The Monroe Art League will deeply miss our fellow artist. Jan was a force to be reconed with and she was an exceptional artist. We all enjoyed our time we got to spend with her and her involvement with our group made such a difference. If her family is ever curious just how much Jan did for us they can look at our groups records at Ellis Library the 'Monroe Art League
Angie Terrasi Archives'. Jan kept detailed, hand written records and they are in the collection for public to research. Jan also has artwork in the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe. Thank you for thinking of the MAL. We will always remember Jan very fondly.
#1 David Van Houten 2023-11-16 18:35
Sorry for your loss, Aunt Jan was a good example to everyone in our family. Hard working, loving, and good use of her talents. We will be unable to attend, have two Dr Appointments that morning, will miss seeing all the family.

Add comment

Security code