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Janet L. Smith

Obituary for Janet L. Smith

April 3, 1952 - September 10, 2017
McHenry, Illinois | Age 65

Loving Wife, Mother, and Grandmother


Janet L. Smith, 65, of McHenry, passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 8:37 p.m. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
A lifelong resident of McHenry, Janet was born on April 3, 1952 in Woodstock, IL to Gerald and Joan Larkin. She graduated from McHenry Community High School in 1970, received her nursing degree from Alverno College in 1974, and began work as a Registered Nurse in the OB department at Woodstock Memorial Hospital.
She married John Smith on January 24, 1975. Throughout her entire adult life, Janet has exemplified the meaning of community service and volunteerism. As a Certified Childbirth Educator, she taught Lamaze classes for expectant mothers throughout McHenry County for over 30 years. She was actively involved with numerous charitable organizations and fundraising efforts, including acting as local coordinator of mail donation campaigns for the American Cancer Society and American Heart Organization. For many years, Janet led the local "Love Lights a Tree" fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, in which she created, in exchange for donations, personalized Christmas ornaments which then adorned a tree in a prominent local business throughout the season.
Janet was a founding member of the Centegra Mad Hatter's fundraising committee benefiting Women's Health in McHenry County. She was also the leader of the design committee for the McHenry Riverwalk Foundation, selecting the railings, lights, and gazebo for the Riverwalk. She also participated in numerous fundraisers for Marian Central Catholic High School. She received the distinction of becoming the first Honorary Marian Central Catholic High School Alumni. In 2009, she received the Frank E. Low Award for her lifelong community service involvement in the city of McHenry. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
Janet was greatly admired and loved by everyone for her strong faith, modesty, generosity, "clean-living" lifestyle, meticulous organization skills, and especially for her compassion for anyone in need of help. Her selfless concern for others could be seen in the way she spent time with and helped elderly family members, including several aunts and her mother-in-law as they neared the end of their lives.
But the strongest force in her life was her love of family and friends. She cherished the many vacations she enjoyed with her family and close friends, being with family for holiday celebrations, and spending time with her grandchildren.
She was a member of St. Patrick Church in McHenry. A devout Catholic, Janet was an involved member of her parish and sang in the choir. Her family fondly referred to her as "Sister Janet Mary" due to her strong faith and commitment.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, John; her sons, Scott (Denise) Smith, Patrick (Lindsay) Smith, Jonathan (Emily) Smith; her grandchildren, Amelia, Cameron, Abigail, Addison, Natalie, Kinley, and Charley; her mother, Joan Larkin; sisters, Nancy Cook, Sally Hodge, Ann (Frank) Cuda, Julie (Tom) Sharp; brother, Jerry (Melinda) Larkin; aunts, Mary Durland and Mitzi Griffith; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
Janet was preceded in death by her father, Gerald Larkin in 1995, and brother-in-law, Nick Hodge in 2003.
Visitation will be held Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Rd., McHenry, IL 60050. The visitation will continue on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 9:30a.m. to 10:30a.m. before the funeral mass, which will be held at 10:30a.m. at The Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry. Interment will be in St. Mary Cemetery in McHenry.
Memorial contributions may be made in Janet's name to FISH of McHenry Food Pantry and/or Gavers Community Cancer Foundation.
Arrangements by Colonial Funeral Home in McHenry. For information, phone 815-385-0063 or email

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McHenry, IL 60050
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