Obituary of Janice G. Scanlon
The (abridged) Life & Times of Janice G. Scanlon The penning of an obituary is a task of the absurd. How does one adequately reflect the totality of a life lived within a few meager paragraphs filled only with names and dates and too often the driest of details which ends up reading like that of a middle-school history report that received a grade of B-? It is a fool’s errand, to be sure. And yet, the thought that this record of life, this footnote dedicated to the years, the months, the weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds lived – should somehow be absent, is incomprehensible. Therefore, the only option is for the fool to plod forward, paradoxically, by going backwards. On this, the 21st of July, 2020, Janice Mary Glidden Scanlon, aged 78, passed from our reality and entered the great unknown following a long battle with cancer. Born May 21st, 1942, Janice was a longtime resident of Horseheads, NY, via Elmira, NY, via Oshkosh, WI, via Athens, OH, and courtesy of Iron Mountain MI. A proud graduate of the Class of 1960 from Iron Mountain High School, Janice went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northland College (Ashland, WI) in 1964, and a Master of Arts in Education from Elmira College in 1981. She retired in 2004 after twenty-two years as a dedicated Reading Teacher for the Waverly Central School District, and was also a Social Worker from 1966 to 1970 for Winnebago County, WI. There were some (perhaps only two) of Jan’s children that suspected her innocuous and unassuming demeanor belied the fact that she was actually an ex-covert government spy-in-hiding following a botched reconnaissance mission during a family canoeing expedition in the boundary waters of Minnesota in the 1960s. Sadly, she never once broke her cover and admitted her true identity, thus carrying the secret with her into the great beyond. Jan was a beloved sister to her siblings, Bonnie, Marcia, and Moses, their respective spouses Robert, Thomas, and Dinah, an aunt to her many nieces and nephews, a daughter to her parents John and Iris, and a loving wife to her husband of 48 years Patrick James. Above all else, however, Janice’s true passion was that of being a mother. She was fiercely dedicated to her children and grandchildren. She championed each of them and gave all of herself to their development. She swelled with pride with each of their triumphs, and selflessly supported them when they would fall. This was her finest and proudest accomplishment. She is survived by her children Sean (Renee), Joshua, and Meghan, as well as her grandchildren Ireland, Aela, Finnian, Asher, and Estlin. Wherein this would naturally close an obituary, chocked full with the requisite information, it does not provide nearly enough substance to properly evince her existence. Janice was an avid reader who loved mystery novels, enjoyed puzzles and the color blue. She loved singing, watching the birds, chipmunks, and squirrels in her backyard, walking in the forest, and was enamored with wildflowers (particularly daisies). She adored family gatherings, reminiscing with her sisters, playing penny-ante poker, and often dominated the cribbage board. She loved the sunshine, the neon green of spring, and the first snowfall of winter. She had a sense of humor as dry as the desert, a wit sharp enough to cut diamonds, a truly infectious laugh, and a heart that far outsized the body that housed it. She is deeply missed, fondly remembered, and greatly loved. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to the Horseheads Animal Shelter, 150 Wygant Rd., Horseheads, NY 14845.