Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Catherine Mary Jane Sweitzer (1932-2024)

Today should have been Aunt Janie’s 92nd birthday, so I thought I would share some words I wrote after her death a few weeks ago when I saw that the obituary provided by the funeral home wasn’t quite up to standards.

I was unable to attend any services for Aunt Janie since I only found out a few days before the burial, with no time to try to organize flights, accommodation, etc., but I’ve tried to make peace with it.

Catherine Mary Jane Sweitzer (Janie) passed peacefully on February 18th. She was 91. Janie was born and raised in York County and attended William Penn Senior High. She was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church, where she also worked as a secretary until her retirement in the 1990s. Janie enjoyed reading, puzzle books, and sewing. Her favourite books were historical Christian romances and her favourite colour was pink. She liked tigers, but wasn’t a fan of domestic cats. Roses were her favourite flower, and she always used rose scented soap. She enjoyed making clothing for both herself and her family, including prom dresses and wedding dresses. She enjoyed travelling with her brother, including once to the Rose Bowl where she sat and talked with people instead of watching the game. Janie also enjoyed baking, and a Christmas staple was her Red Velvet Cake!

Janie was predeceased by her parents, Emory Sr and Rozadie, sisters Marcella, Beatrice, Barbara, Patricia, and Jesselean, and brothers Emory Jr and William. She is survived by her sister, Linda, and many nieces and nephews spanning several generations.

Janie enjoyed hosting the annual Thanksgiving dinner for our extended family and organizing the post-meal bingo game. Her favourite flavour of ice cream was coffee, which she especially enjoyed with a slice of mince pie.

Janie was an avid walker, and would go on daily walks either to one of the local parks, or if it was raining, she would walk around the mall. She loved Doris Day and Sandi Patti. She also loved watching Oprah, and particularly enjoyed the giveaway shows.

Aunt Janie introduced me to some of my favourite books – Anne of Green Gables, CS Lewis, and Harry Potter. She made my senior prom dress over a weekend, and helped mom and I make my wedding dress in six weeks. Every Summer growing up, I always looked forward to my week long stay with Aunt Janie. She would take the week off from work and we would spend the week playing board games, visiting the ducks at Kiwanis Lake, or the miniature ponies.

On mowing day, she would make a container of lemonade to quench her thirst and every evening she could be seen snacking on pretzels and cheese and drinking a Dr Pepper. Aunt Janie made the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had.

Aunt Janie encouraged me in all of my endeavours. I don’t think she missed a single recital, concert, or theatrical production I was in unless it was mid-week. She always came to visit on the weekends I was singing in church and would ask for recordings of my singing.

She will be forever missed, and always loved.

I love you. So very much.

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