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Obituaries » Janet Mary David

Janet Mary David

February 27, 1934 - May 5, 2018

A memorial service is planned for the morning of June 17 in Palo Alto, California. Contact Rachel or Matthew for details.

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Janet Mary David (nee Williamson) passed away on May 5, 2018. She was 84 years old.She is survived by her children Rachel and Matthew, children-in-law Will and Sajee, and grandsons Cy and Owen.
Janet was born on February 27, 1934 in Hull, England. She had one brother, David, who was 2 years older. When the war began in 1939 she was evacuated and lived with relatives. During that time she became very close with her cousin Anna. Living through the war and austerity made her very careful with resources, and gave her an appreciation for small luxuries (such as good chocolate). Janet loved children and had an affinity for teaching. She taught kindergarten in Cambridge, England, where she met and married her husband, Paul. Together they moved to the United States, eventually to Palo Alto, California.
After a long struggle trying to have children, Rachel and Matthew arrived in 1969 and 1970. Janet suffered from back pain as a result of a childhood injury, which made raising two young children challenging. Nonetheless she never failed to show her love and affection for her children. She learned to cook by reading Julia Child and became known for her delicious meals. She had simple and elegant taste and created a beautiful, warm, and welcoming home.
After her divorce in 1980 she re-entered the workforce. She became a systems librarian for computer companies Aehr Test, Tandem, and Compaq. She relied on the resourcefulness she developed as a child, and managed to buy a condo in Mountain View. After Matthew and Rachel left home, went to college, and struck out on their own, they remained very close with Janet. She loved Matt’s wife Sajee and Rachel’s husband Will as her own children. Grandson Cy was born in 1998 and Owen in 2012. She adored them and was very proud of them. Janet went to great lengths to make her children, children-in-law, and grandsons feel comfortable and loved in her home. She carefully preserved her childrens’ legos, fisher-price trucks, a beloved marble run, and other toys for her grandsons to play with.
After her retirement, Janet finally had time to focus on activities she was passionate about. She travelled the world, with close friends or her brother and sister-in-law Gill, visiting Spain, Morocco, Uganda, Germany, Alaska, Greece, Thailand, her native England, and more. She took many classes to further enrich herself, focusing mostly on other cultures. She walked almost every day near her home, at the Baylands in Mountain View and the hills nearby. She loved music, played piano, and was a regular attendee of the symphony. She read prolifically, mostly novels, and she took the New York Times and the Economist.
Remembering Janet, friends describe her as inquisitive and dignified, elegant and precise. They recall walks and conversations and good meals shared. Although she was independent and self-sufficient, she highly valued time spent with loved ones, and was a loyal and dedicated friend.
Janet died from corticobasal degeneration, a rare neurological disease. Her condition robbed her of many of her passions, including conversation and walking. Despite this great adversity, her sense of humor remained to the end. She took immense joy from her grandchildren, who could always make her laugh. Janet created a warm and loving family, and we will miss her every day.

A memorial service is planned for the morning of June 17 in Palo Alto, California.  Contact Rachel or Matthew for details.