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Young Ambassadors founder, performer dies

Young Ambassadors founder, performer dies

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Jun. 1, 2013 at 9:30 p.m.


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OREM — Big band singer and founder of the Young Ambassadors performance group at Brigham Young University, Jane "Janie" Thompson died Saturday.

Thompson died of natural causes at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, surrounded by her family. She was 91 years old.

Always involved in community arts, and a program director at Brigham Young University, Thompson will "be mourned by tens of thousands throughout the BYU community and around the world," her spokesperson, David Acheson, wrote Saturday.

"Although never married, she left a legacy of talent and love among literally thousands of her ‘kids' — students who performed around the world in her dance and song programs," he wrote. "Thompson famously sang that she'd ‘been everywhere, man.' "

Born in the small town of Malta, Idaho, Thompson pursued a career as a big band singer. During World War II, she performed all over the world in the Civilian Actors Technician Services. She would go on to perform alongside Tony Bennett during her career, including a performance in 2000 at Abravanel Hall.

After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wales, she was called as the director of BYU's program bureau where she founded and directed several acts, including the Young Ambassadors, Lamanite Generation (now Living Legends), Brigham Youngsters, Holiday in the U.S. and Curtain Time U.S.A.

Her funeral will be held Saturday, June 8 in Provo.

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

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