Mary Irene “Rene” Janes, 88, of Summerfield Florida, (and formerly of Millinocket, ME; Three Rivers, Quebec; and Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada) died peacefully on February 17 surrounded by her family, following a courageous 5-year journey with colon cancer.
Rene was born in on June 27, 1933 in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, Canada as the third of 10 children born to Edna and Mathias Gray. Selfless from a young age, she graciously helped her parents nurture her many younger siblings, and was celebrated for her local leadership of Girl Guides of Canada.
In 1951 she graduated from Dalhousie Commercial College with a Full Business Course certificate, and worked for a local dental office and bank.
In 1960, she married Thomas Janes and the couple moved to Three Rivers, Quebec, where they welcomed their two children, Susan and Philip. In 1972, the family moved to Millinocket Maine, where Rene dedicated her life to nurturing her family and volunteered her time and talent in community roles with the cub scouts, high school music program, library and church.
In her thirties, Mary learned how to play golf from Tom. She enjoyed the camaraderie and passion of it so much that she went on to achieve five holes in one and earn the title of Club Champion in each of the three communities she called home.
In 1995, Rene and Tom moved to Summerfield, FL and began a new chapter in retirement as they forged new friendships, played golf, ran a bridge league, and became active members of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church. Rene also enjoyed playing mahjong with friends and taught basket weaving classes. The couple traveled to visit family across the U.S. and Canada, and Rene maintained a travel journal that detailed how much she enjoyed seeing family and friends along the way.
She was a gifted basket weaver and made many lifelong friends as she patiently shared her skills by teaching formal and informal weaving classes. She also avidly knitted and crocheted hundreds of items such as helmet liners for soldiers overseas; baby beanies for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; and afghans and blankets that have become cherished mementos and practical possessions for family and friends worldwide. She loved to cook and bake, and gladly imparted family recipes and traditions that her kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews will share for generations to come.
Rene is celebrated by her beloved husband, Thomas Janes of Summerfield; daughter Susan Janes (Griffith) and husband Michael of Half Moon Bay, CA; son Philip and wife Kristie of Amesbury, MA; three grandchildren, James, Robert, and Rachel; sisters Ann, Dawn and Pam, and extended family throughout Canada. She is predeceased by her parents; brothers Bobby, Tommy and Edwin; and sisters Elizabeth, Judy, and Margaret.
Rene will be interred with family in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, and celebrations of her life will be held with family and caregivers in the U.S. and Canada.
Memorial donations in her memory may be made to the American or Canadian Cancer Societies or a charity of your choice.