Janis Hays Meyer
Janis Hays Meyer passed away on August 11, 2018.
Jan was born on June 24, 1928, to Judge and Mrs. Joseph H. Hays. She was raised on the North Shore of Chicago, and attended Roycemore Girls School in Evanston, IL. Having become enamored of Southern ways through visits with her aunt and uncle, Helen and Chuck Hutton of Memphis, Jan went South for her college education first to Gulf Park College and then to the University of Mississippi where she received her B.A. degree and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.
She married and lived briefly in Holly Springs, MS, where her son, James Hays McIntosh, was born. Later, in 1956, she moved to Memphis and began teaching English at White Station High School.
In 1959, she married Dr. Alphonse H. Meyer, Jr., a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Medical School, with whom she had two more sons. Thereafter, Jan retired from teaching in order to raise her children. With her husband and three sons she traveled extensively throughout the British Isles, Europe and the Far East, providing her sons with a rich cultural education. Ever the student, Jan found time during the child rearing years to pursue a Fine Arts degree in fiber at the Memphis College of Art from which she graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber.
Following Dr. Meyer’s death in 1983, she returned to the Memphis College of Art to study photography. She received her third college degree, another BFA, this time in photography. She then attended the Maryland Institute College of Arts in Baltimore, MD, for further study, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in photography.
She endowed a fellowship at the Maryland Institute College of Arts to provide talented and aspiring photographers the means to study and travel anywhere in the world.
Never inclined to pursue the commercial side of photography, Jan was a frequent exhibitor at the Memphis College of Art, the Brooks Museum of Art, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was honored for her work in color at the Large Format Photo Foundation in Herrsching, Germany, in 1991. In addition, her works are found in private and corporate collections in Boston, MA; Short Hills, NJ; Baltimore, MD; as well as Nashville and Memphis, TN. Her love of photography took her to the Far East, with extensive travel in China, where she found and sponsored for study at the Maryland Institute College of Art, a young photographer and his wife, who now make their home in Atlanta.
Ever active in the community, Jan held memberships in the Brooks Art League, Memphis Symphony League, Temple Israel Sisterhood, Memphis and Shelby County Medical Society Auxiliary, and leadership roles as a Board member and Vice President of the Brooks Museum’s Photographic Circle, President of the Red Acres Garden Club, a Board member of the Red Acres Neighborhood Association, and as a Director of the Woodlands Homeowners Association.
Jan is survived by her three sons, James Hays McIntosh of Holly Springs, MS; Gregory Hays Meyer and his wife, Elise, of Memphis and their children, Max and Sam Meyer; by Andrew Hays Meyer and his wife, Barb, of Atlanta, GA, and their children, Sarah, Hays and Kakki Meyer; and Jan’s step-children, Dr. Ari Zelig and his wife, Julie, of Sarasota, FL, and Anna Zelig of New York, NY. Also surviving are Jan’s brothers, Brian Joseph Hays of Great Falls, VA, and Barton Randall Hays of La Mesa, CA.
The family would like to thank the professionals and staff at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Methodist Hospice Residence and the Memphis Jewish Home as well as Mrs. Meyer’s long-time caregiver and friend, Delores Jones, for their excellent care, and love and compassion.
A graveside service only, to which family and friends are invited, will be held at Temple Israel cemetery. Memorials may be made to Temple Israel, 1376 East Massey Road, Memphis, TN 38120, or the Memphis Jewish Home, 36 Bazeberry Road, Cordova, TN 38018.