Janet D. Proctor
Janet D. Proctor, a resident of Kingwood, Texas, died peacefully on November 22, 2017 from complications of renal failure with her daughter, Gina, and her son, Fred, by her side.
Janet was born on January 30, 1939, at home in Springfield, Illinois. Her father, John Stuart Proctor, died when Janet was 11 years old, leaving her mother, Grace McGrew Proctor, a single mother of four young children.
Grace, Janet’s mother, was the caretaker for the parsonage of the Farmingdale Presbyterian Church in Illinois in which the family lived without indoor plumbing. Janet attended a one-room elementary and middle school and graduated with Highest Honors from Pleasant Plains High School. She was awarded a full, four-year scholarship to Illinois State University but declined the scholarship in order to enter the workforce and support her mother and siblings. Later in life, she attended Truett McConnell University in Georgia.
Janet was a talented soprano, opera vocalist, ballet, jazz dancer and dance teacher. She appeared in numerous productions around Springfield. Her ambition and talent surfaced during the digital age as she readily grasped early computers during their advent with robust. She thoroughly enjoyed patiently tinkering with any new mechanical gizmo as her husband, Pete, the mechanical engineer observed…flummoxed. She loved delving into a new Apple or iPhone. These traits were evident as she held many Executive Secretarial positions but refused numerous advancements due to family commitments.
Jan was an excellent “baker” and seamstress. Her early creations from suits to dresses were bespoke and rivaled Saville Row.
Jan was also a huge proponent of higher education and although patrician, she was at heart, very liberal. She preached to her children during their formative years about the atrocities of slavery, the Jewish Holocaust, and the inequality of Gay Rights in the 1960’s. She assured that they were well-read on these subjects in order to go out into the world with very open minds. She always said that “the only ‘dirty’ book is a book that has been thrown in the mud”.
Janet’s support of her husband, Peter, should be the ultimate standard bearer for wives and mothers.
Janet met Peter on a “blind date” and shortly thereafter, they were married at St. Mary’s Church in St. Petersburg, Florida after Janet converted to Catholicism. Janet, a beautiful WASP, married a one-hundred percent Italian, whose parents “came off the boat from Italy”. Janet embraced her new Italian identity, culture, and language and she integrated into the Italian way of life immediately.
Inherently erudite, Janet assisted Peter as he became the first in his family to garner a college degree. Jan facilitated Peter’s smooth transition through Indiana Technical Institute both financially and academically in order for him to achieve a Bachelor’s in Science in Mechanical Engineering in less than four years.
Janet followed Peter’s career with Schlumberger as a reluctant yet stalwart warrior. Always stating that each move with the company would be a “new adventure”. Indeed, a move to Rabun County, Georgia proved to be quite the experience. With the assistance of their beloved friends, Mary George and Ed Poss, Janet and Peter moved over 40 families from Springfield, Illinois to Clayton, Georgia. There, they began a new life and opened the most advanced Schlumberger manufacturing plant of its time. In this pristine hamlet, Janet found her favorite place in the world…a tiny treasure at the foot of a Holy Cross overlooking the mountains and rivers of Rabun County, Georgia.
Janet loved animals. She owned and rode horseback since childhood. From birth to death, Janet always had a dog in her life. Janet was humbled and honored to make the acquaintance of: Olympian Jesse Owens, Playwright Tennessee Williams, and Frank Rickman.
Janet’s grandchildren held the most special place in her heart. She was unwavering in their care. “Anytime, anyplace”. Words can never describe her love and devotion for her grandchildren. She utterly adored them! She attended every event, production, play, graduation, etc. Janet’s grandchildren were her life.
Janet is survived by her exquisitely loving husband of 58 years, Peter, her daughter, Gina, and her son, Fred, her precious grandchildren, Tony Michael, Christopher Travis, and Allison Palmer. In addition, she is survived by Fred’s wife, Peggy Eandi and children, Jessica and Hannah.