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‘Niner Jan’ Remembered For Loving Support

Posted by Taylor Price on May 13, 2010 – 10:46 AM

Guy McIntyre, Jan Boehm and Keena Turner

The 49ers haven’t played any games this offseason, but they’ve just suffered one of their biggest losses in recent years.

Jan Boehm, who was one of the most loyal, passionate, and caring members of the 49ers Faithful, passed away on Friday, April 30th after a difficult battle with central nervous system lymphoma.

“Jan was arguably our most visible and outwardly supportive fan,” said 49ers Co-Chairman Dr. John York. “She helped each of us appreciate – every single day – what it meant to be a member of the 49ers.  She reminded us of how lucky we were to be a part of this great organization and she made us want to be a part of her life, too.”

Perhaps no member of the Faithful was more spirited about their beloved football team than Boehm, who was simply known around team headquarters as “Niner Jan.”

But she was more than that. To us, she was our “Niner Mom.” It said as much on the birthday and holiday cards she routinely sent to players, coaches and members of the front office.

“She was such a die-hard fan, but cared about everyone on the team,” left tackle Joe Staley recalled. “She would write us nice cards every year, and they were all personal. There was never a generic card, everything was personalized. She really cared about the team, and it’s really sad that she’s not going to be with us anymore, but she’ll always be with us in spirit.”

Beyond the numerous cards of well wishes personalized with her unrelenting spirit, Boehm would spend countless hours in her nearby kitchen in Sunnyvale preparing tasty treats to personally deliver to team headquarters each week of the regular season.

Win or lose, for the past 20 seasons, Boehm has been there to support her team. Ever since she witnessed the 49ers dominant performance in Super Bowl XXIV over the Denver Broncos, Boehm became fascinated with the franchise.

She would soon begin collecting memorabilia that would nearly reach 1,000 items proudly displayed in her home. But Boehm’s passion for the team wasn’t based on the performances on the field; it was rooted in the character of the players and coaches that she observed off of it.

Once Boehm got more involved in following the team over the past decade, she began bringing home-made baked goods to players and staff members as part of her weekly visits to 4949 Centennial Blvd.

Boehm’s annual arrival was eagerly awaited by many in the building, including security staff member Dario Montenegro, who recalled seeing Boehm deliver baked goods for 10 of the 12 seasons he’s worked for the 49ers.

“She was always upbeat, always happy. No matter what the 49ers did, she would always say, ‘We can do better!’” Montenegro remembered. “That’s what you want your fans to be like. No matter what the team went through, she was there for us all of the time, no matter what. She was always holding up the team.”

Boehm also held up the 49ers efforts in the community by frequently contributing to the 49ers Foundation. As an English teach for over 20 years, Boehm took a particular interest in helping the 49ers keep kids safe, on track and in school.

“She saw the difference you can make when you give a child the support they need to be successful in school,” said Joanne Pasternack, Director of Community Relations and The 49ers Foundation. “She didn’t just talk about being a fan; she really supported us on and off the field. Jan showed the personal touch that really makes people feel appreciated.”

In her memory, Boehm has continued her personal touch, requesting that 10 percent of her estate be donated to the 49ers Foundation to support low income youth.

But it wasn’t the first time Boehm had made such a generous gesture towards a 49ers-related cause.

When 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois felt the devastation left by a lethal earthquake which rocked his homeland of Haiti, Boehm stepped in with a $5,000 donation to the American Red Cross. As a native of Louisiana, Boehm was all too familiar with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. She felt it was necessary to help out.

“It was so nice, she didn’t have to do it, but the fact that she would do things for all of us, we really appreciated it,” Jean Francois said. “To see all the love that she gave us, that comes from something deep down, something out of your heart.

“She’ll never be forgotten by us. She’ll always be remembered. We know we can’t see her in the physical form, but we know she’s here in spirit.”

Boehm wrote this in a Christmas card she sent me this past season:

“Taylor, Keep up the good work! The 49ers are so lucky to have you!”

But really, we were all so, so lucky to have her.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “‘Niner Jan’ Remembered For Loving Support”

  1. By Daniel Alcaraz on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Niner Jan let me be her guest on 49er Draft Day back in 2009..she didn’t have too I came with no ticket and she let me be her guest. Thanks Niner Jan rest in peace

  2. By Alex on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    :( Will miss you and remember you always Niner Jan! You were MOST DEFINITELY the Niner Mom, especially on the message boards. Thank you for everything you have done for us.

  3. By braulio on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Im very sorry to the friends and family of Niner Jan , as a 49ers fan myself hearing stories like Niner Jans helping out with the community and with the 49er organization in any way she possibly can just brings a huge smile to my face. To hear about a person and a story like Jans is great but also very sad to hear she has passed away. RIP Niner Jan

  4. By Seng Sisomphone on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    RIP NinerJan. You will be missed.

  5. By Tumbleweed on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    I will miss Niner Jan. She was a loyal fan and a true 49er Faithful!We corresponded thru the message boards and I always wanted to meet her.

  6. By Larry R. Cooper (aka Peter Proud) on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Jan completely understood what it meant to be a fan…..she was always postive and treated all the players alike….whether they were a starter or on the practice squad, simply because they were a 49er and that was her team!

  7. By The Jerm on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Great article Taylor. Very good depth. RIP Jan.

  8. By Herbert Endo on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Perhaps the 49ers can place a picture of her on the wall along side all the 49er greats of the past.

  9. By Greg S on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    When the new stadium is built you should name the 49er merch store after her… or something like that…

  10. By Joseph Granata on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    If anyone is so deserving of being honored at a Home Game this season is Niner Jan. She was the team Mom, and kept all of us on the Niner Message Board in line as well. I would love for the team to do something in her memory.

  11. By Peter S on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Put Jan in the SF 49ers Half of Fame

  12. By Gaylord Gee on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    The 49ers should strongly consider creating a 49er Faithful Hall of Fame Fan Club and induct longtime faithful Niner fans. This would include longtime season ticketholders and fans who, even though they might not have been able to afford season tickets, were able to show their loyalty to the team in other distinguished ways. They could make a space on the stadium that would honor these faithful fans and, in tribute, name it after Niner Jan.

  13. By RI 49ers Faithful on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    We lost a good one. I didn’t know her personnally but she bleeds red and gold like me so we are like family. Rest in peace Jan, to her family and friends sorry for your loss. It’s really a loss for all of us. Hope the Niners put her initials on their helmets or jerseys for the season. Let’s have a great season for Jan!!!!!!

  14. By Spiker72 on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Bye Mom, see ya Sunday…

  15. By Rich on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    She will persuade GOD to become a 49er fan. RIP Niner Jan!

  16. By Weston Smith on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    RIP Niner Jan…You will never be forgotten and forever missed!

  17. By Monica on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Niner Jan was truly the #1 fan and will be missed. I especially admired all her homemade sweatshirts and other items with team pictures and slogans proudly displayed. She was there through the good, the bad, and the ugly, always upbeat and positive. Happy trails, Niner Jan, may you rest in peace.

  18. By david on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    what a wonderful person jan you will never be forgotten rest in peace dear.49ers dedicate the upcoming season in her honor

  19. By renada on May 15, 2010 | Reply

    Training camp will not be the same without her. Jan was a very nice young lady and I looked forward to seeing what kind of Niner shirt she would have on. My daughter and I will miss her.

  20. By JeffC on May 15, 2010 | Reply

    I will remember Jan as a very kind-hearted and generous lady who loved the whole 49ers organization past and present like a family. Her favorite players were Steve Young and Jerry Rice, but she truly cared about all the players especially rookies trying to find their way in the world. Jan was also a big fan of Coach Steve Mariuchi. She was very active in local charities including the Red Cross, City Team Ministry, Habitat for Humanity. Coming from a troubled childhood herself, she was very supportive of troubled kids getting a second chance in life, which is part of the outreach that City Team Ministry does. Jan was a very good person with a big heart. We lost her too soon.

  21. By Bryan Micklus on May 15, 2010 | Reply

    Maybe she could be the first fan to get put on the Ten-Year Wall…

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