Cover photo for Janet Lee Nordin's Obituary
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1943 Janet Lee Nordin 2024

Janet Lee Nordin

August 23, 1943 — March 27, 2024

Abingdon VA

Janet Lee Nordin was born August 23, 1943, and she passed away on March 27, 2024, at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Virginia after sudden illness earlier in the day. 

Janet was the first-born child to the late Obert Layne Nordin and Elizabeth Gulledge Nordin of Houston, Texas. She grew up attending Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Janet was a lifelong learner, an accomplished career woman, an avid reader, and loved raising her dogs, the last two being Lady, the border collie, and Sunshine, the cocker spaniel. 

Janet graduated with honors from Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas, and then took a job with a local bank as a bookkeeper, using mechanical adding machines to calculate balances to fund her way through college. Janet received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Houston. 

For decades, Janet worked achieving multiple master's degrees. She was awarded a Master of Computer Science from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Chicago, Illinois, and a master's degree in counseling/psychology from the School of Psychology of Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then later when living in Abingdon, Virginia, she completed studies with the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, in viticulture and winemaking.

Even with all of these degrees behind her, she enjoyed watching The Great Courses educational DVDs and reading book series on every imaginable topic from quantum mechanics, understanding the universe, black holes, anthropology, government, investment, ancient literature, biology, psychology, and religion, all while walking on a treadmill.

Janet brought a precision and an accuracy to every job she held in her career journey. After her initial jobs working in Houston banks, she worked for IBM in the Boston area providing software support, and then continued with software development with a smaller start-up company in the Boston area. Janet was hired by Bell Telephone Labs of Lisle, Illinois, as the Department Manager for experimental software development. She then became a part of the AT&T company when she was hired as a Western Electric Product Management Director. Janet broke the glass ceiling as one of the first female software engineers hired by Bell Labs (AT&T). She was invited to hold the position of the Central Region Vice President of the Operator Services Team. In 1992, Janet bravely made a decision to step aside from her intense corporate career to explore other adventures with her husband, Bob Carlson.

As a team they managed a pair of motels in Pompano Beach, Florida that specialized in longer term stays, often with visitors from Sweden. They did this while pursuing their master's in psychology degrees. After completing their degrees, they wanted to leave southern Florida.

In 1996 they bought and moved into “Chippy’s place” on Alvarado Road. They enjoyed the region with beautiful land and nice climate, but they weren’t ones to sit still. They began to hatch an idea of founding a vineyard and winery in 1998. They used their business skills and perseverance to learn and construct the business up from the dirt. Janet could regularly be quoted, saying, "It’s a lot of work.” The Abingdon Vineyard and Winery opened it doors in 2001.

Janet met Robert “Bob” M. Carlson while working for AT&T / Bell labs. They dated and fell in love. On May 20, 1989, they were wed in Naperville, Illinois. They were a remarkable match for each other, inspiring each other to dream and work hard together. Janet and Bob would have been celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary this May 20, 2024.

Janet was proceeded in death by her sister Jodi Nordin Curtis, her mother Elizabeth Gulledge Nordin, and her father Obert Layne Nordin. Janet is survived by her spouse, Robert (“Bob”) M. Carlson; her brother, Richard Nordin and wife Cheryl; her brother Tracy Nordin and wife Susan; her brother, Kim Nordin and wife Evelyn. Janet was aunt to Jamie Nordin Haddock, Jeffrey Nordin, Justin Nordin, Joshua Curtis, Devon Curtis Beane, Ian Nordin, Patrick Nordin. Janet had no children, but was step-mother to Bob’s children Eric F. Carlson (partner Karyn Daniels), Robi M. (Carlson) Dooling (spouse Jeffrey Dooling), and step-grandmother to Taylor Daniels, Caleb Dooling, Eben Dooling, Jeremy Dooling and Waverly Dooling. 

 A visitation to honor Janet’s life will be held at Farris Funeral Service, Main Street Chapel, 427 E. Main Street, Abingdon, VA on Saturday, April 6, 2024, from 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm. A brief family-led memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, beginning at 5:00 pm. Further visitation will follow the brief service until 6:00 pm. 

The extended family will gather for a private meal after these services. A private family interment at the Knollkreg Memorial Park in Abingdon is scheduled for Monday.

Janet’s inspiring memory will forever remain in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her. May she rest in peace knowing that she was deeply loved, cherished, and respected by many. 

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to The Shriners Children’s Hospital at, or Paws for Purple Hearts providing therapeutic animal therapy and ownership to our US veterans at

The family of Janet Lee Nordin is being cared for by Farris Funeral Service & Crematory, Main Street Location, 427 E. Main Street, Abingdon, VA 276-623-2700


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 6, 2024

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farris Funeral Service – Main Street Chapel

427 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farris Funeral Service – Main Street Chapel

427 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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