It is with deep sorrow and much love that we announce the passing of the beloved Janet Atkinson on Monday October 17th. Janet, also known to many as Nanny, lived a life of elegance. She was gracious, clever, and kind, with great humour and wit, who grounded all with love and joy. Our memories together will always glow with her warmth and laughter. Janet had an open-door policy and welcomed all to drop by for a coffee, tea, or something a little stronger. She beamed with gratitude when surrounded by her family saying, “How lucky we are!”
Janet was born in Massachusetts, but as a young girl moved back home to her beloved Nova Scotia. She was so much to so many. She was a cherished daughter, a little sister, a tomboy, a loyal friend and a fierce sportsman at Edgehill School for Girls in Windsor, Nova Scotia. She was a wonderful conversationalist with a genuine interest in the world and made fast friends with people of all ages. She was a faithful wife, a loving mother and a homemaker. She was Nanny to her eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Janet was an aunt to many, a sister in-law, trusted friend, tennis fanatic, wonderful cook, and an avid reader. She loved swimming in the ocean and riding her horse at her second home out at Glen Oro Farm, where she would ride up the mountain and watch the sunrise with her friends beside her. Janet volunteered at the Orillia Public Library, Helping Hands, and she was a fundraiser for fifty-five years for the Red Cross and the Canadian Cancer Society. She was eternally grateful to Toronto General Hospital’s Dr. Cole and his staff for performing her kidney transplant, lovingly donated by her son John, in 2007. This added so many wonderful years to her life and enabled her to know and love her four great grandchildren. This operation was performed on Mother’s Day and Dr. Cole said she was truly receiving a special gift.
Janet freely gave so much of herself to others. But perhaps her greatest gift of all was how she seemed to effortlessly give her undivided attention to whomever she was with, be it family, friends or even strangers. Because she cared so much, they all walked away feeling special, because in Janet’s heart, everyone was special. Everything Janet represented will live in our hearts forever.
Janet was devoted to her late husband Doug Atkinson, lovingly referred to as Grumpy, and is survived by her sons, Jeff (Barb), John, Ross (Cecilia), and Stuart (Colette). By her grandchildren, Josh (Shylah), Joe, Alex, Grace, Cassidy, Tyler, Meghan, Kyle and Portia. As well as her great grandchildren, Sophia, Olivia, Amelia, and Jameson.
To our Matriarch, Nanny and friend, we love you, we’ll miss you and we pray you rest in peace. This isn’t a goodbye but a see you later, or as Janet would say “tah tah for now.”
A celebration of life will be held at Glen Oro Farm on Saturday, November 5th from 1pm-3pm. Sympathy may be expressed through donations to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Arrangements entrusted to the Mundell Funeral Home, Orillia.