Obituary of Janet Weaver
Janet Marie (Kerstetter) Weaver, long-time resident of Tomslake, British Columbia, passed peacefully at home with family present on Monday, January 23, 2023, at the age of 84 yrs.
Janet will be dearly missed! As we think back on our mother’s life, words that come to mind are God-fearing, vigorous, creative, supportive, resourceful and hard working.
Janet was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania on March 21, 1938. She was the oldest daughter of Lewis and Maxine Kerstetter. She grew up on a farm, surrounded by milk cows, pigs, ducks and horses. She and her 4 younger siblings, Jean, Donna, Bob and Barry, learned to work hard at daily chores, growing vegetables and corn; doing all that needed to be done on the family dairy farm. Janet and her sister Jean shared the same belief that reading, and education were secondary to getting tasks done—they can only remember owning one children's book while growing up.
This instilled in Janet a great work ethic but also a desire to learn and read even more, and this eventually led her to learn to play the piano and become a schoolteacher.
Janet married Keith Weaver when she was 21 yrs. of age. Together they ventured to buy a dairy farm in Potters Mills, Pennsylvania, so that Keith could farm while she taught elementary school. Janet and Keith had children right away, and juggled the demands of parenthood, teaching & dairy farming together.
As their family grew, they came to desire more spacious surroundings and greater opportunities for their young family. It was Keith’s dream to move west and become a cowboy, and so in June of 1973, they moved the family to a new country and came to settle in the community of Tomslake, BC Canada. Janet played a strong supportive role in the development of their unified dream. She was a loyal wife and mother to four growing children and had a spirit of resolve to build a new and exciting life in the wilds of the north.
She quickly landed a job as a primary school teacher at Tate Creek Elementary School in Tomslake, and taught there for the next 30 yrs. It was her desire to help each child learn the basics of reading writing and arithmetic, and many former students of her class will tell you she accomplished that. Her teaching income made it possible for the family to buy 2400 acres of land in the One Island Lake area, and to eventually build a viable ranch that ran 300 head of cattle, 50 horses, and occasionally some pigs and chickens.
Janet was an avid gardener with a very ‘green thumb’. She loved flowers, birds, horses and all wildlife. Nature and gardening were Janet’s place to find solace from the demands of teaching.
Janet retired from teaching in 1999, and this was an exciting time for her. This enabled her to further enjoy the ranch alongside Keith and to work the garden and teach her grandchildren how to grow produce. Janet was very proud of being able to feed her family from the fruit of the land. Harvest time was a highlight for her, and she loved displaying her harvest of vegetables, flowers and baked goods at the Dawson Creek fall fair on a yearly basis.
In 2013, Janet and Keith sold their ranch and bought a small plot of land near Swan Lake. They enjoyed traveling in their last years together and wintering in southern California. Keith passed in 2018, leaving an empty space in Janet’s heart. She continued to occupy herself with gardening, crafts, and her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Janet was known for her creativity and love for school Christmas activities. This past December, despite her declining health, she still managed to arrange a final family Christmas play of the birth of Christ. Janet was very proud that all her great-grandchildren participated and the whole family got to enjoy.
Janet has left behind quite a legacy. She is survived by her four children Shonny Kuenzl, Jeffrey Weaver, Gregory Weaver and Stephany Nadon along with all their spouses; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; siblings, all of whom reside in Pennsylvania, Jean Watson, Donna Dietrich and Barry Kerstetter; as well as many extended family and friends.
A Celebration of Life for Janet will be held at the Tomslake Community Centre in the classroom where she taught for so many years, on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 3:00pm.
For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Janet to the South Peace Hospice Palliative Care Society, #3-929-106 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, V1G 2N9.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium