GREENVILLE — Janet “Jan” Boyer had resided for only 16 years in Greenville, when she died November 16, but made lots of friends and was involved in many activities while here.
Born in Mercer County, she was respected by her peers and other friends both near and far.
“Yes Jan was a friend,” said Gail Snyder. ” She was Greenville Art Guild president for a few years. She always called and asked me to volunteer for the Anna Bier Room for art displays. As you know the Anna Bier Room was partly funded by money from a trust for Greenville Art Guild.”
“Everybody knew Jan Boyer,” remarked Marilyn Delk, “And everybody who knew her was impressed. As I recall, we first met as Friends of the Library, which was one of the numerous community organizations which she so industriously enhanced. What I found so inherently irritating about Jan is that she tried to do everything, and then she did everything so very well. I don’t know how our community can get things done without her. She was a very good woman, and will be sorely missed.”
Lyn Bliss had this to say about her, “Jan was such a talented lady – who put so much love and enjoyment into art for so many residents of, and visitors to, Darke County. She also was a wonderful asset to the League of Women Voters – where she served so well. Jan was one of the founders of the Senior Scribes Scholarship Fund and gave much time, talent and resources to helping Darke County youth achieve their higher education goals. Jan was a lady who served as a superb role model for young women! It was an honor and a privilege to know her.”
Son Paul Boyer described his mother as “loving, always concerned, but always motivating.”
“She had more patience than anybody else in the whole world,” he added. “‘Love one another as I love you as Jesus taught us to do’ and she was that way, no matter where we’d be. No matter a person’s level, she uplifted them and motivated everybody she came in contact with. She was an awesome painter, yet besides.”
Son-in-law John Vehre, director of Greenville Public Library, commented, “She was a wonderful woman and we definitely will miss her. Never heard her say anything bad about anybody. She was a wonderful grandmother to my son. She also could be firm when something shouldn’t be done. She was a great Friends of the Library president and was really active on our Christmas program.”
Don Boyer said he and his wife graduated from Ohio State University on March 21, 1959, and were married five days later, after which they left for Charleston, South Carolina, where he reported for duty as a U.S. Mine Sweeper. They were there for 3 1/2 years, and his wife taught grade school.
“In high school, Jan was active in 4-H and was emcee of the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago,” he said. “She graduated from OSU with a four-year bachelor’s degree in 2 2/3 years cum laude. And, she was number-one in her high school class.”
When his service ended after being part of the Cuban Crisis, they moved to Flint, Michigan, where she substitute taught high school classes in and around the area.
“At one point, she taught Russian language at Flint High School,” he said. “Jan had a degree in home economics education after we moved to Swartz Creek, Michigan, and ran a peer counseling program for youth with up to 40 students who helped troubled youth in the high school.”
Don said he retired after 38 years and that is when they came to Greenville.
“All three of our children were living within 20 minutes of each other here,” he said. “Here, it allowed her to flex her academic and organizational skills. She was president of the Art Guild for eight or nine years, having relinquished that right before she passed. She was a professional artist in oils, pastels and sculpture; led the Friends of the Library for six or seven years as president; was on the Ohio State Alumni Association; was secretary of the League of Women Voters; and was a member of Senior Scribes.”
He also told of her involvement at their church, the First Presbyterian of Greenville, including presenting children’s sermons; singing in the church choir; and heading up the Thanksgiving dinners the last nine years for the community.
“She died on Nov. 16, and sort of ran the project for her in her absence,” he said. “She also helped with many of the funeral dinners and served as elder at the church and innumerable things she was called on to lead in that capacity.”
According to him, Jan helped write a grant for Growing in God for the Eli Lilly Foundation, in which $35,000 goes for pastors and $15,000 for the church. [She also penned many press releases from these organizations for The Daily Advocate.]
Don said he was his wife’s staff when she was involved in an accidental fall and was laid up for several months last spring.
“She was not permitted to drive for four months and I had to take her, even to Weight Watchers,” he said.
He recalled that he was helping set up for the recent Youth for Christ banquet, had gone home only to find an ambulance at their residence. He was told his wife had had a heart attack and they were airlifting her via CareFlight to Miami Valley.
Of course, he made his way there, and she passed two days later.
The Rev. John Person, pastor of First Presbyterian, stated, “Jan was a woman who put her Christian faith into action. She knew no strangers and had a deep compassion for those disadvantaged and those in need. If she saw a need, she did something out it. She didn’t wait to be asked.”
Here are some postings from the Zechar Bailey Funeral Home site:
“Janet was a special known for specialties…that she cared for so many people as the same way her daughter [Dr. Beth Vehre] does,” remarked Brenda Wallace of Greenville. “She was a spittin’ image of her daughter that I care for very much. She was such a lovely person as her daughter is and was a very caring person whom her daughter has received from her mother…also, the community and everyone she has known for years.”
“She was a gem and will be missed by all,” said Patti Ives-McClanahan, Goodrich, Michigan.
“Whenever Jan and I would cross paths, she always had a smile to share and a word or two, usually asking me how I was doing. She gave the community so much of her time and gave me a lot of wonderful memories,” stated Jana Deeter of Greenville.
“I just learned of Jan’s passing and am so saddened but yet know that she is in a wonderful place with God since she had such a heart for Him,” wrote Carmen Snyder of Versailles. “She was faith in action. Jan was a role model for me in sharing her multiple talents. I always enjoyed my interactions/activities with her. My life was blessed in knowing her.”
“Jan was a kind and caring person, always encouraging people to aim high,” noted Jan Barber, Swartz Creek, Michigan.
“My Aunt Janet was one of the most active people I have every met,” commented Roger Coate of Westerville. “She had such a unique blend of strength, love and joy. Her influence in our lives cannot be understated. We all will miss her deeply.”