Janet ‘Jann’ Davenport Schmitt, passed away on Friday, April 24th. She battled cancer bravely for over a year until the Lord called her home to rest.
Jann was born in Erie PA, the second daughter of William and Dorothy Davenport, joining big sister Carol on June 28, 1940.
Jann graduated early from Academy High School to marry her sweetheart Eugene ‘Gene’ Schmitt in June 1957 and daughter Karen was born the following year. Son Eric arrived four years later. The family moved to Medina NY in 1963. In 1973 the family headed to Orlando where In the late 70’s Jann and Gene founded Schmitt Builders, a General Contracting Firm that specialized in libraries, schools and fire stations in and around Orlando.
Jann and Gene divorced but continued to work amicably together in the business for a number of years. After leaving Schmitt Builders, Jann obtained her real estate license in 1991 and achieved Rookie of the Year status as well as being named a member of the Million Dollar Club in 1992. Jann enjoyed a successful and rewarding career in real estate until her retirement in 2010.
Shortly before her 50th birthday, Jann met Carl Jowell and spent twenty five years sharing her life with him until his passing in February 2016. Thanks to Carl’s daughters, Jann inherited cherished grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She loved gardening, history, letter writing, cooking and HGTV. She was a supporter of many philanthropic endeavors, including Stetson University’s Internship Impact Fund and Home at Last (building handicapped accessible homes for wounded vets) in Oakland FL. She also loved volunteering with her church, St. Mark’s Presbyterian in Altamonte Springs FL.
Jann was an exceptional woman, mother, and friend who had the ability to charm everyone she met along the way because she was truly interested in people, always thinking of others before herself. Jann touched many lives in important ways and her legacy of caring will not be forgotten.
In addition to her daughter Karen (husband Mark) and son Eric, Jann leaves her sister and brother in law, Carol and George Schneider of Erie, her brother in law Charles Schmitt, six nieces and nephews and their families, her beloved cousins and their families from North and South Carolina, Carl’s family, and the many friends and loved ones she collected over the years.
Three Celebrations of her life are planned: one in Altamonte Springs for her 80th birthday on June 28th; and two others later this summer: one in Rockford N.C., a place dear to her heart from which her paternal relatives hail, and another in Erie PA at WinterGreen Gorge Cemetery, Jann’s final resting place.