In Memory

Janet Kerr

Janet Kerr

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03/10/13 03:21 PM #1    

Stephanie Arata (Codling)

Janet Lee Kerr: Born May 2, 1946 Died April 2012

I had the pleasure of knowing Janet from the time we were both 5 years old. I was honored to speak at her memorial last year. I wanted to share my memories of her with all of you.

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Janet was just that to me, a lifetime friend, who I met when we were just 5 years old in Mrs. Tuttle’s Kindergarten Class at Roosevelt Elementary School in San Leandro, CA. I have such fond memories of our early times together in our Cheerful Flyer’s Blue Bird group, taking dance lessons at Los Ayer’s Dance Studio, where we were budding ballerina’s, staying over night at each others houses, quitting Campfire Girls so we could play softball with the boys, we thought we were such clever 7th grader’s. We went on to San Leandro High, where we were Cheerleader’s together for our Junior and Senior Year’s, Janet was Head Cheerleader in our Senior Year. 


After graduation, Janet met & married Bob Seale and I met and married Doug Codling.  We shared many great times together, from camping in Yosemite, Christmas parties & company picnics, (Bob & Doug worked together at Elmar Electronics), drinking endless Pepsi’s and playing Pinochle into the wee hours of the morning, having our second children, Scotty & Michele only weeks apart, moving to Denver together, taking the kids on Sunday’s to all the new homes that were being built in Southmoor Park where we lived, (We both had beautiful homes, so I guess it was just something we liked to do.) We bowled in a morning bowling league together (Janet was a much better bowler than I for sure), we took the kids to pre-school and talked on the phone everyday, those were the good old days.


We had a connection even before we met in that Janet’s mom Fran & my mom, Cecelia went to Fremont High School in Oakland together. My mom & Janet’s dad Ed worked together at Wolf Buick in San Leandro, so you might say it was a family friendship from the start.


Janet was a great cook, I still have many of her recipes (Fricadella, Cranberry loaf, shrimp dip to name a few), she loved wallpapering and decorating, her homes were always beautifully decorated and immaculate. She loved being a Mom, Aunt and Grandma, especially going to the “boys” (as she liked to call them) Clayton, Bennett & Peter’s games and cheering them on.  She was an ardent conservative, who was passionate about her political beliefs.  She spent her adult life in banking, something she said she did not like, but I think secretly, she loved, given all the friendships that were created as she traveled from bank to bank from California to Arizona and back to California.


Although, we wouldn’t see one another for years at a time, the last time was several years ago at a Fundraiser for the Angels Camp Main Street Association, where we sipped wine, nibbled on appetizers, listened to Jazz and toured the home and gardens of a beautiful home in the area, (for a brief moment we were transported back to our Sunday home tours in Denver so long ago). We talked on the phone regularly and shared memories of our 60 year friendship. Janet would always remind me that “I was her oldest friend, even though she was a few weeks older than I”.


She was the sister I never had and I will miss her.

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