Janet Callin Mulholland

Janet was born on July 13, 1945, in Denver, Colorado. She was the only child of Mary De Sellem and Emanuel Callin. Emanuel immigrated from Prastmon, Sweden, through Ellis island in 1920 when he was 29 years old. He was a horticulturist who developed a new type of carnation. Janet’s mom Mary owned and ran the De Sellem Fuel & Feed Company, which, according to an annual review of businesses in the United Labor Bulletin, “show[ed] themselves to be manifestly fair-minded and public- spirited.” You could write the same thing about Janet.

Janet was publicly minded and had a deep sense of justice. She had a tremendous love for all animals and rescued many dogs and cats over her life. In addition to cats and dogs, she loved and cared for many other pets – birds, snakes, geese, ducks, horses and donkeys. She and her husband of 58 years, Mike Mulholland, dedicated their lives to protecting animals, wildlife and the environment. Janet loved the country’s National Parks and she and Mike visited almost all of them. They relished hiking and taking in the majestic beauty of nature all over the country. As a young girl, Janet loved horses and horseback riding and dreamed about having a horse of her own one day. Shortly after they married in 1966, Mike fulfilled this lifelong dream by giving Janet two horses, Mr. Lucky and Undomo, who lived for nearly 30 years as loving and beloved pets. As he ate his nightly apple, Undomo liked to look through the living room window of the house and watch tv with the rest of the family.

Janet graduated first in her class from Denver North High School and was awarded Colorado’s top academic scholarship, which sent her to Colorado College and University of Denver, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After earning her undergraduate degree in Education, she moved to St. Louis with Mike and obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from University of Missouri – St. Louis. Shortly after, Janet began teaching in elementary education and dedicated her career as a school counselor to serving elementary school children and their parents in the Hazelwood School District, where she was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1999.

Janet and Mike volunteered at the St. Louis Zoo (including in the insectarium) for many years, both before and after they retired. In retirement, Janet spent many hours teaching adults to read and volunteering at local animal shelters. Janet and Mike were generous supporters of the Animal Protective Association (APA), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society, the Sierra Club and the Ethical Society in St. Louis. Most recently, Janet tapped into her artistic side and created beautiful watercolor paintings of mountains.

Janet believed strongly in social justice for women and people of color, animal
rights and environmental protection and spent her career and life advancing those
causes. She was also passionate about living life with abandon and laughing with
gusto. Her fighting spirit will be greatly missed.

Janet passed away on March 29, 2024. She is survived by her loving husband,
Mike, and their two children Carrie Mulholland Brous (Joel Brous) and Ross Mulholland,
as well as five grandchildren whom they adored, taught and laughed with at every
opportunity – Zoe Catlin Brous, Phoebe Callin Brous, Sophie Mulholland Brous, Joseph
Michael Mulholland and Anna Rose Mulholland. Janet is preceded in death by her
parents Emanuel and Mary, as well as her loving adoptive mother and father Gladys
and Pop Pankey who showed tremendous love and kindness as the neighbors who took
Janet in as a daughter when Emanuel and Mary died when Janet was young.


  1. Debi Mulholland Klein on April 3, 2024 at 9:16 pm

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of my Aunt Jan. I treasure the times you came out to Colorado to see us when I was a kid. And I remember that last time a few years ago when you got to meet my kids. I’ll be thinking of Ross, Carrie and Uncle Mike at this difficult time. Love, Debi

  2. Sharon Cusick on April 5, 2024 at 7:39 pm

    We were sorry to hear of her passing. She, Mike and children were neighbors of ours. We would occasionally tend to their horses and rabbits. May she be at peace now. Tom and Sharon Cusick and family.

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