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Janice Carol Walter

February 10, 1937 August 23, 2020
Janice Carol Walter
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Obituary for Janice Carol Walter

Born in Detroit on February 10th, 1937 to Hilmer Stostad and Lillian Anderson, Janice Carol Stostad would go on to lead a long, happy, challenging life rooted in her Christian faith.

A determined woman from her early years, Janice navigated the 1950s and 60s in Southeastern Michigan with independence and self-sufficiency. After attending Eastern Michigan University and graduating with a degree in sociology in 1959—but without the at-the-time much prized “M.R.S degree” — she decided to build a career she could love that would bring her enough financial security that she could take care of herself and, as she often told her daughter, “do some traveling.” She settled on library work, and later recounted the early mornings sleeping in her car in Ann Arbor before class just to find parking, while commuting from her parents’ home where her mother somewhat derisively recalled the seemingly endless period when Janice always had her nose in a book! After earning her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan, she also managed to impress a handsome chemist who drove a red Corvette and was almost 5 years her junior, and was to become her husband of some 54 years.

Her husband, Kermit, was attracted by her drive and intelligence, so different from his own mathematical and scientific disposition. He knew Janice was sharp from the moment he met her and much later he reflected that he had gotten the chance to marry someone smarter than himself -- and he had grabbed it.

She had chosen her career wisely, and loved being a librarian from the early years passing out books to children while riding the Detroit Public Library Book Mobile, to many stints as a reference librarian. This proved an enduring passion: You don’t have to know everything, she used to say, if you know where to find out about it! Not only personally fulfilling, her earnings supported her blossoming family while Kermit went back to school to become a veterinarian at Michigan State University.

The great heart of her professional life was the founding and building of the library at Plymouth Christian Academy (PCA) where she served as head librarian for more than 25 years until her retirement. From a few dusty boxes of donated books, she wrenched accreditation from UofM for the high school library in only a matter of years, later computerizing the collection with the tenacity and purpose that were her hallmarks.

Her time at PCA enabled her to combine her Christian faith with her working life. She was devoted to the students, from kindergarteners all the way up to seniors, not flinching to shush them and throw them out of “her” library when appropriate, but also always ready to recommend a book -- or to suggest alternatives to a child she knew needed a little more challenge than what he or she gravitated toward. She sometimes found herself at odds with the parents of students because of the confidence she had that children should be able to read broadly, even at a Christian school, and need not be sheltered from the occasional curse word or violent passage. It was always a challenge to her to utilize her library’s limited space so she curated the collection with care and an eye toward preparing students to take on the real world outside the Academy. She knew reading was instrumental to a good life.

But work wasn’t all work because at any school there has to be time for SPORTS! Janice was the consummate athlete in her early years and later sports-buff and coach. Colleagues at PCA recall stopping by the library for a book and staying around to talk sports until the bell rang for class. Whether swimming, softball (her favorite), tennis, and golf—she loved playing sports, she loved watching sports, and she loved coaching sports. She coached girls’ softball up until her retirement, describing to her family the challenge the short attention spans of the youngest players posed as she tried to teach them to hold a bat and how she sometimes had to convince the older ones not to lose focus but to keep running as they rounded third base, so impatient to celebrate a beautiful drive through center field that they sometimes forgot the point of the game. She would shake her head and smile. Coaching gave her some of her happiest hours.

Through it all, Janice’s faith was not simply a statement she made or a weekly Sunday ritual, it was how she lived: rooted in love and compassion. Each day began with her quiet time -- a chance to read her Bible and pray before tackling the day ahead. It wasn’t always easy but she modeled the love we read about in I Corinthians 13. She brought that love to her family, her children, her friends and community every day.

Janice slipped away to be with her Lord while holding the hands of her two children, Gregory and Pamela, on the morning of Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. In addition to her husband and children, Janice is survived by her sister Christine Styes, her brother Dennis Stostad, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother Douglas Stostad.

Memorial contributions can be made to Samaritan's Purse or to Plymouth Christian Academy for the library fund.

For Samaritan’s Purse, send to: Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607. For PCA, send to: Plymouth Christian Academy, 43065 Joy Rd, Canton, MI 48187.

A Funeral and Graveside Service will be held at South Lyon Cemetery, 479 Stryker St, South Lyon, MI 48178 on Thursday, August 27th, at 1PM. Visitation will be held from 11AM until the time of service.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW FUNERAL AND GRAVESIDE SERVICE at 1 PM August 27, 2020

For further information phone Lynch and Sons Brighton 810-229-2905.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

27

Aug

11:00 AM 8/27/2020 11:00:00 AM - 1:00 PM 8/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
South Lyon Cemetery

479 Stryker St.
South Lyon, MI 48178

South Lyon Cemetery
479 Stryker St. South Lyon 48178 MI
United States

Funeral Service

Thursday

27

Aug

1:00 PM 8/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
South Lyon Cemetery

479 Stryker St.
South Lyon, MI 48178

South Lyon Cemetery
479 Stryker St. South Lyon 48178 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

Plymouth Christian Academy

43065 Joy Rd.
Canton, MI 48187

Samaritan's Purse

Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607
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