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Janet Jane Roberts, age 74, of Holland, passed away on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at Appledorn Assisted Living Center North surrounded by family. 

The daughter of John & Helen (Usas) Petchulis, she was born on January 9, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A memorial mass will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 29, 2017 at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 480 152nd Ave., Holland. A celebration of Life will also be held at 1:00 p.m. at Appledorn Assisted Living Center North, 411 Ida Red Pkwy., Holland. 

Honoring her wishes cremation will take place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Janet’s online guestbook, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 

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2 Condolences

  1. Vaughn and Kathy Lubbers on October 1, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    So sorry to hear that Janet has passed on. Now she is with Larry and they are both whole again!



  2. Teresa (In Honor of Mom) on February 6, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Sveiks! Do you recognize me? Look closely into my clear blue eyes. Add a sparkly blouse, blingy necklace, and some scratch off tickets in my hand. Now youve got it! Well, hello there! Where have you been?

    When was the last time you saw me? Was I greeting you standing with my cherry red walker or seated in my wheelchair munching on peanut butter filled pretzels? Were you able to hear my words, or were you guessing and hoping that your responses to me made sense? You didnt think I knew when you were faking it, did you? Well, we both were. I was faking you out too by pretending to go along with everything you thought I should do for my own good. But heres the truth: Even though you couldnt understand me, I understood you. Better than you think. Listen carefully. Heres what I wanted you to know all those times when all you heard was mumble, mumble, mumble.

    Ive always had a solid work ethic. I graduated early from my class and finished as Salutatorian. I was quick to learn secretarial skills and had a command of English grammar that rivaled any MSU professor. It was my editing that helped my husband earn his bachelors degree which is why he shared it with me when he graduated. I am a published international author. Really! I wrote articles for the Parkinsons support group, and one was published in the Netherlands. In another narrative, I wrote about a food allergy emergency which was also published in a culinary book of sorts. I loved to write about my experiences hoping that I could use humor to encourage others. Listen. What I said was – youve got work to do. Better get to it.

    Not only did I work hard, I played hard! I met my husband Larry while out dancing with my girlfriend in Philly. I learned to ride a horse and showed with my sister in numerous competitions. Watching Kentucky Derby Races and leaping Lippizan stallions were highlights of this hobby. My two daughters shared my love for equines – every Saturday the three of us took lessons to hone our skills. I rode motorcycle with my husband; my vest was weighed down with pins, and trophies filled our home. Listen. What I said was – follow your passions! Life is meant to be fun!

    Ive got a sometimes twisted sense of humor. The biggest example of this is my nickname – Quasimodo. Parkinsons claimed my body, but not my attitude. A ragged Quasi doll was attached to my walker for years. I cant carry a tune to save my soul, but my husband was continually serenaded with I Love You, a Bushel and a Peck – look it up sometime. I owned a faux mink fur cooking apron – no kidding! And my stuffed cat wore my precious gems. I did this just to throw off my daughters into questioning my sanity. Listen. What I said was – laugh at yourself more. It makes the trials in life more bearable.
    I know what its like to leave everything you know and start over somewhere foreign. My Lithuanian roots developed in Philly with its skyrises are a long way from the farm and wooded acres of Ionia. When I fell passionately in love with Larry and moved to Michigan, I left behind all who knew me. The Catholic school girl meeting her friends at the Johnny Wanamaker Eagle became a wife, mother, sister and daughter to a new family – one that hunted even! Starting a new life is scary and exciting and overwhelming – but I did it three times, and the last one wasnt even my idea. Listen. What I said was – I see you feeling lonely or inadequate. Trust yourself more; you can do it!

    Trials are not new to me; Ive faced my share. Diagnosed at age 40 with Parkinsons Disease, I faced a daunting future. Why me? How could this be? Trying multiple experimental procedures and medicines, my crown came in the form of a halo screwed to my head for Deep Brain Stimulus surgery. Slightly more than a decade after that the love of my life died and I lost everything – home, independence, and having your partner by your side at all times. Listen. What I said was – S*&@! happens. Press on anyhow. Put one foot in front of the other and find a way to continue LIVING!

    I never denied what brought me joy. I attended such delights as The Phantom of the Opera and flea markets and yard sales. I knew where the best penny machines were in most of Michigans casinos. I loved decorating for Christmas and playing the role of Mrs. Claus to my husbands Santa. Over time I was able to perfect landscaping and gardening skills. Need any flowers dead-headed? Im the gal to call! I could get lost for hours in weeding a garden. Food is good! Eat it! Steak, shrimp, chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs, ice cream, Aplets & Cotlets – did I say CHOCOLATE? Listen. What I said was – do what makes you happy. Pleasing others is boring.

    So, my bags are packed. The bus is waiting. Can you believe it? Im going to see Larry again! Ive missed him so much these last two years! You know that bright light some people talk about in near-death experiences? Well, Ive seen it too. It was a long time ago. This time I wont turn back; God and I have some chatting to do. He has always loved me – I know this. Though I shook many an angry fist with tears and questions, I did remain faithful to Him. I dont want this life any more when I know there is something better for me just around the corner. Listen. What I said was – Ive lived a good life. But its time to go now.

    Ill see you soon. Capisce? You are my friend, my comforter. My niece, nephew, sister, brother. My grandson, granddaughter. My sons. My daughters. Listen. What I said was – I love you all very much. God Bless.

    Shared in loving memory by Janets family:
    Teresa & Rob Harrington, Jacki & John Gossman-Roberts, Joseph & Caleigh



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