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1940s Hollywood star Nora Lou has raised $4000 for scholarships while sharing her story at local venues-Oregonian Living story

At 91-years-old, Nora Martin Janik – then known as Nora Lou — seems to have barely slowed down from her fast paced Hollywood life in the 1940s.

Janik, then known as Nora Lou, sang for the future king of Norway (Prince Olav), made movies with Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey, and sang with Les Paul as well as large orchestras.

She has been sharing her fairy tale story and songs at local venues the past year, raising funds for an education scholarship fund through Philanthropic Educational Organization International, an organization that assists women.

At an October event at Tanner Spring Assisted Living center, she raised $ 60 for P.E.O. In the past year and a half, the Nora Martin events have raised almost $ 4000 for P.E.O, said Barb Marold, who attends Willamette Christian Church in West Linn and  has helped organize fundraising speaking engagements for Janik.

Why is education important to Janik? After all, she didn’t finish high school.

“While I was a senior, I was touring for Golden West Coffee, where my picture was on the can, and the principal (at my  high school) wouldn’t let me hand in my work late, so I dropped out.”

“I believe in education. I want to help women,” said Janik, whose two sons attended Harvard.

In addition to her reaching out to help women get educations, she has made a difference in the lives of women affected by breast cancer. She is a survivor.

Janik helped start American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program that supports breast cancer survivors.

But  it was Janik’s love of music- especially yodeling — that  overjoyed residents of Tanner Spring.

Burnae Mae Piper,  said of the Tanner Spring visit, “I lived in New York City and so well remember Nora Lou and Les Paul singing together.”

In addition to singing for entertaining, Janik used her voice for other good causes. During World War II,  she  helped raise millions of dollars in War Bonds.

She also encouraged a young soldier in a hospital who didn’t want to live anymore.

“He was barely 18, and I told him he has his whole life ahead of him,” Janik shared.

Later, she received a letter from that same young man, dated 1945, which included his Purple Heart.

“I  want to find him — his name is Eddie Curran– and he was on the USS Enterprise,” she added. “I want to return his Purple Heart to him.”

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To book Janik at an event or order the CD, “A Voice from the Past: Nora Martin sings with Claude Sweeten Orchestra and Les Paul,” which sells for  $ 20, contact Marold ibcreative@comcast.net <cq/> -

Posted in Community, Community Service, Culture, Faith and Culture, West Linn Neighborhood Correspondent for Oregonian SW Community, West Linn news.


2 Responses

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  1. Cornelia Seigneur says

    She is quite an amAzing woman indeed!

  2. Megan Daline says

    What a great story. God is still using her at 90 – what an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.



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