June 8, 1934 -
July 3, 2020
Janis Ann Topham, 86, of Sisterdale, Texas passed away Friday, July 3, 2020 after a brief illness. A private Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held at 11:00 AM on July 11, 2020 at Holt & Holt Funeral Home in Boerne.
Janis Ann Williams was born on June 8, 1934 in Ft. Worth, Texas to Herman and Virginia (McRae) Williams. She graduated from Arlington Heights High school in Ft. Worth and attended TCU. She lived an active and interesting life filled with early modeling, a lifetime of love of horses and related activities, and family and friends. She was one of the top paid hair models in the United States in 1956 and soon opened her own beauty salon.
Janis married her loving husband, Terry Topham, on August 16, 1968 in San Antonio. She had one horse when they married and one or more for most of the rest of her life. She acquired her first Arabian horse in 1975, a half-Arabian she named Skozar Abi', or Abi, as she called him. She soon began to win Class "A" Arabian shows with Abi throughout Texas in the halter class judged on confirmation and eye appeal. A five-state championship followed. In 1976, Janis and Terry loaded Abi into their two-horse trailer and took him to the National Arabian Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky. Abi won Top Ten in the United States competing against a field of 89.
Janis was a gifted equestrian and competed in Class "A" Arabian horse shows in Western and English Pleasure, Park, Obstacle Course, and Halter competitions for 15 years, winning many trophies and ribbons. She was also a founding member of the Alamo Arabian Horse Association in San Antonio and designed its first logo. As one of those who recognized early the therapeutic value of being around and riding horses for the disabled, she volunteered herself and several horses for this rewarding endeavor.
As a member of the San Antonio Bar Association's Women's Auxiliary, Janis was one of the cast members in its production of "Land of Zareba" which was presented to many of the elementary schools in San Antonio. "Zareba" was a humorous play with a message, filled with costumed characters and animals played by cast members. It is about a land with no laws and the bad results that follow, ending with the adoption of fair and just laws and a happy land. Janis played the parts of "Ms. Griggs" and a dog.
Janis is survived by her husband of 52 years, Terry Topham; her sons, Glenn (Hsiao-Ping) Neal of Poway, California and Lee Burgess of Beeville, Texas; her sister, Kelly (Shaun) Stickney of Columbia, Tennessee; her grandsons, Tyler Neal of Poway, Elum Burgess (Cristina Elida) of Tyler, Texas, and Brandon (Tracy) Burgess of Rolla, Missouri; her great-granddaughters, Kira Burgess and Elida Burgess of Tyler; her uncle, Louis Pizzo of New Braunfels, Texas; and her cousins, Sheri Pizzo of Waco, Texas, Joe Lynn Pizzo of Bend, Oregon, Barry Pizzo of New Braunfels, Jeanie Dennis of Blue Ash, Ohio, Perry Ellis of Galveston, Texas, Corky Pittsender of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, Lisa Parnel of Dallas, and Paula Boldoc of Plack, Florida.
Janis was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Virginia Williams.
Instead of floral remembrances, the family suggests that donations can be made to Hill Country Family Services of Boerne, San Antonio Humane Society, or the charity of your choice to honor Janis's memory.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the staff of Holt & Holt Funeral Home of Boerne. To share words of comfort with the family, please visit www.holtfh.com.