Janice L. (Ballard) Bennett, 82, died peacefully, May 15, 2019, surrounded by her family at Sylvia Ross in Bangor, Maine. Janice was born November 9, 1936, to Oscar and Lillian Ballard in Saginaw, Michigan.
After earning her degrees in Math and Chemistry from Central Michigan University, she taught in the Hartland school district where she demonstrated a talent for helping struggling students reach their potential. She married David Bennett in 1960 and joyfully raised four children together until his passing in 2005. As a lifelong learner, she loved new challenges, and through classes and self-study, she became a baker, a tailor, a florist, and a candy maker. She came by her card playing skills honestly from her parents and shared her love of a good game with a dear set of friends in her pinochle club for decades, always with the soundtrack of laughter. Though she could spot a good bargain a mile away, she was more likely to give away her gains to community members in need than to keep them for herself. Janice faithfully cared for both of her parents and her sister Ruth as each separately endured their own struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease until she herself was diagnosed with dementia.
She leaves her four children and their spouses, Susan Bennett-Armistead (David Armistead), Russell Bennett (Lori Bennett), Matthew Bennett (Janel Bennett), and Sheila Bennett (Jason Pohlman) to always wonder who was her favorite. She will always be theirs. Her 11 grandchildren, Tim (spouse Abigail), Dawson, Violet, Ababu, Abby, Annabelle, Kelly, David, Beatrix, Emma, and Lillian will continue their Gheema’s legacy of love, humor, and generosity.
There will be a memorial Mass at St. John of Hartland, Michigan at 10:30 a.m. on August 5th. A luncheon will follow. All are welcome. Anyone wishing to honor Janice is encouraged to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association (Alz.Org). Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.