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Janie Thompson, legendary BYU Young Ambassadors founder, dies at 91

Published: Wednesday, June 5 2013 6:01 p.m. MDT

Janie Thompson blows BYU coach LaVell Edwards a kiss after introducing him with a song she wrote about him and his football team.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

PROVO — Janine "Janie" Thompson, the legendary figure behind internationally renowned performance groups such as BYU's Young Ambassadors and Living Legends, passed away June 1. She was 91.

Thompson gave up a flourishing entertainment career of her own to head BYU's entertainment program bureau in the early 1950s. She remained with the university for more than 30 years, retiring in the mid-80s.

She maintained a studio at BYU for several years after she officially retired, and continued writing music for various productions across the nation, ultimately publishing more than 100 musical works. At the time of her death, she had at least two separate productions in the works, among other projects.

Thompson never married, but she considered her students family and plastered her office wall with their photographs.

Public funeral services will be held this weekend. Public viewing will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 7, and will continue the next morning from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Funeral services will begin on Saturday, June 8, at 11 a.m. All events will take place in the multi-stake center in Provo at 352 N. 900 East, with interment at the Orem City cemetery.

After the funeral, the family will host a musical celebration at the multi-stake center at 2 p.m. There is no scheduled entertainment, but all those who knew Thompson are invited to come sing, play or dance to honor Thompson's life.

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