February 27, 1934 - March 16, 2019
Janice Lee Walker Kent, a 20-year resident of Vermont, was reunited in Heaven with the love of her life, Bruce, and a host of other beloved family and friends on March 16, 2019. A short illness at the time of her 85th birthday followed a brave and determined year of recovery from a stroke in March 2018.
Janice was born in Redford, Michigan, the sixth of eight children, to Edythe (Griffith) and Allan Walker. As a child, Janice treasured her siblings and had a great sense of humor. She was a Key Punch Operator at Chrysler Corporation when she met handsome sailor, Bruce Gordon Kent. A courtship of four years preceded their marriage on February 20, 1960. Together they created the life of her dreams in Sterling Heights (Michigan), Glendale (Arizona) and Swanton (Vermont). Janice and Bruce were blessed with five children, 11 grandchildren, and 55 married years before his death in March 2015.
Janice adored her extended Kent and Walker families and had many friends. She loved reunions, connections on Facebook, the Red Sox, and was great at games. Before a lifelong battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis crippled her hands, she loved to play the piano and took pride in sewing clothes. In addition to her favorite career choice as a stay-at-home Mom, Janice enjoyed assorted jobs such as an Administrative Assistant and Child Care Provider.
Janice was active in both the Sterling Heights and Mission Bell Methodist Churches, serving as Children’s Choir Director, Junior MYF Leader, singing in the Adult Choirs, and organizing talent shows for senior centers and hospitals. As a retiree in Vermont, she was a hospital volunteer at Northwestern Medical Center and enjoyed performing in the annual “Cardiac Capers” fundraiser. After the death of her husband, she became a Senior Companion and was featured in an article in Vermont Maturity magazine. At 82 years she created and completed a unique “Bucket List” which included zip lining and surprising far away relatives and friends with visits.
Following her 2018 stroke, Janice was blessed to receive great care, attention and friendship from the many unsung heroes of elder care in Vermont. Her family would like to sincerely thank the staffs at: Birchwood Terrace Rehab, The Gazebo, and Sterling House.
Janice is preceded in death by her parents, six of her siblings (Harry Walker, Norma Beauchamp, Patricia Walker, Jim Walker, Mary Ellen Walker and Keith Walker) and her husband. She is survived by her youngest sister, Karen DiFranco, and will be forever loved and missed by her children (Kathryn and John Rhadigan of TX, Daniel and Lori Kent of MI, Kelly and Earl Walters of VT, Sharon and Pat Cunningham of TX, James and Lisa Kent of MI) and her grandchildren (McKenna and Kal Rhadigan, Kathleen (Kent) and Matt Elrod, Justin (fiancee Kayla Boehm) and Shane Kent, Kayla (fiance Tim Paul) and Kelsey Walters, Kasey and Chase Cunningham, and Noah and Alec Kent).
MEMORIAL ARRANGEMENTS: To celebrate Janice, two memorial services are planned: the first, on Wednesday, March 20, at 7:00pm at Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service in South Burlington, VT; and the second, (to include church and graveside service), in Michigan, at a later date. If desired, gifts may be made, in memory of Janice Kent, to Sterling House of Richmond, VT (61 Farr Road, Richmond, VT 05477).