Janice Lagerstrom — clown Jannie Annie — dies unexpectedly

Photo courtesy of the Allen Park Downtown Development Authority Janice Lagerstrom, known as Jannie Annie, with children at the downtown Allen Park Farmer’s Market where she entertained children and families for years.

Photo courtesy of the Allen Park Downtown Development Authority
Janice Lagerstrom, known as Jannie Annie, with children at the downtown Allen Park Farmer’s Market where she entertained children and families for years.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — A longtime favorite in the Dearborn community known as clown Jannie Annie who brought funny moments to residents died at the age of 60.

Janice Lagerstrom died in her home in Dearborn on May 9, the same city she was born in on March 22, 1957. She grew up in the city and graduated from Dearborn High School.

She became known as Jannie Annie while she worked as a professional clown for more than 25 years at birthday parties, schools, fundraisers and community events.

According to her life legacy on the Howe-Peterson Funeral Home page, her most recent appearance was on May 7 at a local Special Olympics fundraiser.

“Janice was kind, caring, funny, and beautiful with or without her makeup on,” the legacy read. “She enjoyed being in the spotlight but was opposed to having her picture posted on Facebook or any other social media. She was humble, deriving as much joy from every facet of life as she gave … her legacy of love and laughter will never be forgotten.”

Lagerstrom’s unexpected death was revealed when a neighbor was trying to contact her because she was taking Lagerstrom to an appointment. When the neighbor had no luck, police were called to the house.

Dearborn Goodfellows Executive Director Larry Johnson issued a statement with his “heartfelt sadness and deepest regrets” informing Goodfellows staff on Lagerstrom’s passing.

“Jannie epitomized what a Goodfellow is — always there for our children,” he wrote. “We will miss her outfit, her red nose, her big thumb, but most especially we will miss our Jannie Annie. Jannie never missed an event and never charged a dime. What Jannie gave, she gave from the heart.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)