Laura Janney

Orford, N.H. — Laura Janney, a nurse at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center who loved to hunt hares with her basset hounds and sing operatic arias, died on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in Orford, N.H. She was 60.

The cause of death was gallbladder cancer; she was diagnosed three years ago. Her son, Jesse Kus, and his wife, Supatcharee Dansakda (Kae), were at her side when she died.

A longtime member of the Thetford Chamber Singers, where she was known for her rich, often haunting, soprano, Janney also sang with Opera ETC and at many venues in the area. She was a devoted performer at the annual town benefit in Vershire, Vermont, where she lived for many years.

Laura C. Janney was born Laurie C. Lewis in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 12, 1953, the daughter of Carolyn Lewis (Morris) and Paul Wilson Lewis, a tugboat captain for ExxonMobil. She graduated from Huntington High School in Huntington, N.Y., in 1971 and later received a nursing degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1975.

Laura Janney joined the staff of Dartmouth Hitchcock in 1977 and worked in the Intensive Care Nursery for many years. More recently, she was part of a group conducting MS research at the hospital.

In 1979 Laura married Christopher A. Kus, a doctor, and the couple adopted their son, Jesse, in 1981. After she divorced, Laura married Frank F. Janney, a professor of Spanish language and literature at Dartmouth College, in 1996. Frank Janney died ten years later.

Laura loved to hunt and walk through the woods of Vermont and New Hampshire. She often welcomed the New Year with friends by snowshoeing through the brush with her pack of basset hounds. She was a practitioner of Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and healing. Her spirituality infused her work, her son said.

In addition to her son and his wife, Laura is survived by her mother; her brother, Paul Lewis; and her sister-in-law, Jane Shannon.

A music-filled memorial service will be held at the Vershire Town Center on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3 p.m. A potluck will follow the service. Jesse and Kae (,; (603) 360-9014) are organizing the service. Memorial donations should be sent to Have Justice Will Travel (