Janet Clarice O'Bre of Appleton went to be with the Lord peacefully with her family at her side on May 21, 2016. She was born at the beginning of World War II on February 28, 1941 to Henry and Eugenia (Forcier) O'Bre of New Bedford Massachusetts, the youngest of four girls. Janet quickly learned the values of hard work, teamwork, and love for her family. She attended South Boston High School graduating in 1959. Janet grew up in a modest home in the projects of Boston. In spite of the hardships of that era she was always a fun loving person who "lived" life.
Janet had a carefree spirit about her and loved to dance and roller skate. She was always the first to lend a hand if help was needed or an ear to someone who needed a friend. This compassion extended to four legged friends as well as she was always taking in or feeding strays. No one was turned away.
Janet's mother Eugenia passed away in 1960, she then moved to Appleton WI with her father Henry, to be closer to her sister Jonnie and her family. Her father Henry passed away in 1961 when Janet was twenty-one years old; in 1962, led by her carefree sense of adventure Janet moved to California with only a couple hundred dollars in her pocket to start fresh.
Janet grew up quickly and found life in Long Beach, California to be both exciting and hard for a single twenty-one year old girl. Her work ethic carried her as she worked odd jobs as a waitress, bartender, and house cleaner. Later she would end up working for the Long Beach Naval Ship Yard, and at a parts plant where she was a nut inspector.
In 1966 Janet had a brief relationship that resulted in her having a son who was her pride and joy-Shaun O'Bre. As a single Mother life for Janet now encompassed caring for and protecting her baby boy. She worked multiple jobs in bad neighborhoods to provide for her young son. Due to this she had to be tough. One family acquaintance referred to Janet as "plucky" due to her tenacious spirit in protecting herself and her son. At times she was known to carry a brick in her purse for just such situations.
In 1976 Janet started to have health issues, this combined with rising crime in her neighborhood prompted her to move to Appleton, WI to be nearer relatives and to find a safer environment for her son. After arriving in Appleton times were hard, however, with the help of family and her "plucky" demeanor Janet provided for her son and life improved. She worked for FVTC, the Institute of Paper Chemistry, and lastly at the Appleton Blood Center. Janet continued to make friends wherever she went.
Starting in 2011 Janet started having significant health issues. During this time something wonderful happened. Janet received Jesus Christ as her Savior and life changed forever for her. She was baptized at Christ the Rock Church soon thereafter. She had a childlike faith and always saw the best in others. During this time her health continued to decline she went from a cane to a walker, and onto dialysis for kidney failure. All through this time most people would have become bitter, not Janet with her new found faith she soldiered on becoming more kind, patient and loving to those she met. Even in the midst of pain Janet always had a smile and hug for anyone regardless of what they looked like or where they came from. More than ever she would lend her ear to anyone that needed a friend just to listen.
In her last days Janet was a Rock of Faith! As she faced death she was fearless because of her faith in Christ Jesus. She continued to encourage those around her and talked of "running like a little girl" again in Heaven. Janet also looked forward to seeing her loved ones who have passed before her and being with Jesus.
Janet will be deeply missed by her son, Shaun (Lisa) O'Bre; sister, Jonnie (Dale) Schumaker; grandson, Noah O'Bre. She is further survived by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Eugenia; sisters, Jean (Mike) Neville, Joan (Alfred) Monahan, and brother-in-law Ken Dorn.
Till the end Janet continued to tell us to "take time to smell the roses" and to share her favorite saying: "LIVE, LOVE, AND LAUGH".
A memorial service/picnic will be held for Janet's family and friends at a later date.
Mom you will be sincerely missed, however, it's not goodbye its see you soon! Love you, your family.
Heart of the Valley Cremation Services
101 N. Elm St.