The last in our series of 2015 Wonder Women is perhaps the most significant for our 25th Anniversary. Jan Entwistle hosted the meeting in her living room to talk about the idea of a Women’s Resource Center. She was joined by members of ALTRUSA, AAUW, and the Jr. League. They decided that YES! We did need a place for women who needed help through transitions.
The meeting in that living room coupled with Jan’s persistence and a core of truly amazing volunteers created the Women’s Resource Center. 25 years later, thousands of women have benefited from services at the WRC. On behalf of them and all of us, thank you!
Jan grew up in Winnetka, IL, and graduated from Purdue University. She has been married to Chuck, the love of her life, for 48 years. When Chuck retired from the Marine Corps as a Lt. Col after 21 years in 1981 they moved to Bradenton. Jan had been a homemaker as they traveled coast to coast with the Marine Corps. When both of their children left for college, however, she started her career with Merrill Lynch in Washington DC, continuing in the Bradenton office and retired in December 2014, after 37 years as a Financial Advisor.
Jan and Chuck have 2 children a son, Bill, and his wife, Kathy, who live in Greensboro, NC and a daughter Vicki, and her husband Chuck, (Elzer) who live in Bradenton. Chuck Elzer was also Jan’s partner at Merrill Lynch for over 20 years. Chuck and Vicki have 2 children, a daughter, Ellie, who graduated from UF and is now teaching in Bradenton, and a son, Chuck IV, who is a senior at UF in Material Science Engineering, starting his graduate studies this fall.
Arriving in Bradenton, Jan and Chuck became involved in the community, Chuck was on the Hard of Hearing board and helped get the Sarasota/Manatee Alzheimer’s Association. Jan enjoyed Manatee County so much that she willingly served on many boards including Just for Girl’s Foundation Board, American Lung Association, AAUW, Blood Bank, Arts Council of Manatee County, and The Library Foundation Board. Jan’s love of photography & genealogy also led her to become a member of the Daughters of the Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Union Daughter of the Civil War.
In 1990 Jan, along with a group of forward-thinking women started the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, of which she is very pleased and proud of how it’s grown and flourished, just as she had hoped
Jan was awarded the 2010 Lifetime Spirit Award by the Manatee Community Foundation and in 2002 Merrill Lynch awarded her a Lifetime Community Achievement award. Merrill Lynch followed that at her retirement with a Community Achievement award to be awarded each year in her name.
Currently, Jan facilitates 3 Alzheimer’s support groups, one at the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, and is an elder in the Palma Sola Presbyterian Church where she also is in the choir.