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Janet S. Grace

December 3, 1959 June 11, 2020
Janet S. Grace
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Obituary for Janet S. Grace

Janet S. Grace, 60, of Coventry passed away peacefully at home on June 11, 2020, following a courageous six year battle with metastatic breast cancer. Janet was born December 3, 1959 in Hartford, the daughter of David H. and Dorothy (Keefe) Grace.

A lifelong resident of Coventry, Janet devoted her life to serving and bringing joy to others. From her involvement in every possible activity (literally!) through high school and college, to her years of devotion to teaching countless children to swim as waterfront director at The Windham-Tolland 4H Camp, her years of participation and leadership with the Jaycees, and through them her volunteer work for the GHO, Janet continually led a life of service to others. Most notably, Janet served for the past 31 years as the adult advisor to the Instructors of the Handicapped swimming program in Manchester, which has served more than 4,000 people with disabilities under her tenure. For her tireless efforts including spending nearly every Sunday since 1989 in the service of disabled individuals, their families and her high school student volunteers, Janet was honored by Hartford’s Malta House of Care in 2019 as one of six recipients of their “Wonder Woman” award. Janet was, indeed, a wonder woman as well as a wonderful woman to all who had the good fortune to know her.

Janet’s professional life in the Insurance Industry was equally distinguished, most recently holding the position of Chief Regulator, Captive Insurance and Risk Retention Groups with the Connecticut Department of Insurance. Janet also worked as a consultant with Towers Watson and was a senior underwriter with The Hartford Insurance Company. Janet earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seton Hill University and an Executive MBA degree from the University of Connecticut. Coming from a family of educators, Janet continually tried to better her education, earning three advanced certifications in insurance. Janet was also a proud member of The Coventry High School Class of 1977.

Janet is survived by her brothers, David Grace and Edward Grace of Coventry, and Ed’s wife, Sue Grace. Janet and Sue were sisters to each other. They spent countless hours together traveling the malls, the garden shops and eventually the world. Janet is also survived by her 4 beloved nephews. She wrote and bestowed a beautiful blessing on Chris Conroy and his bride, Claire, when they were married last October. Janet’s love of her 8 month old grandniece, Tessa Grace Conroy, daughter of nephew Keith Conroy and his wife Cheryl of Coventry, brought so much joy to her final year. Janet was so happy to be the hidden photographer for nephew Scott Conroy’s marriage proposal to Jess Mathieu. We know she will be with us all in spirit when they marry in August. Janet had endless love and pride in her youngest nephew, Adam Grace of Coventry and The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Janet was always there for every event, the biggest and the smallest, in the lives of her family, including every band concert, play, and graduation. She was especially fond of bringing her former cheerleader skills to some 45 Manchester Road Races. At every such event Janet always cheered loudest for the last place finishers.
Janet loved life. She loved her family and community. She loved her friends. She loved serving others, not for any recognition, but because she wanted to be of use to others. Janet’s smile, her laugh, her memory for every event, and her keen intellect will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank Janet’s extensive network of friends who have provided immeasurable support over the last 6 years, especially Mary Beth VanDine and Loretta Gorcenski who were there with Janet every step of the way including the last one, as well as Julie and Greg Dodds and Jane Tutoki. We would also like to thank the “Bunker Hill Girls” Janet’s friends from ‘sandbox’ days who were always there when she needed them, as well as her college girlfriends, better known as “The Clique.” The family is deeply grateful to Yale-Smilow, especially Dr. Michael DiGiovanna and Michelle Corso whose world class care gave us precious quality years with Janet. We also want to thank Jara Chen, also of Yale, who guided us through the difficult last week in the hospital with clarity and compassion.
Due to the pandemic, there is no opportunity for services open to the public at this time. A celebration of Janet’s life will be held at a later date.
Janet loved children and especially ‘story time’ with children, so we quote Dr. Seuss…”Don’t be sad it’s over, rejoice because it happened”. We will do both.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Janet’s life are welcome to consider giving to Janet’s favorite charity, Instructors of the Handicapped PO Box 246 Manchester, CT 06045 or Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale, giving@ynhh.org. To send an online expression of sympathy, please visit www.baconfh.com

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