Great Aunt Janet

Janet Garnsey Hall
November 6, 1917 – September 16, 2014

Yesterday my Great Aunt Janet passed away, just two months shy of her ninety-seventh birthday. She was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known.

In the 1960s, Janet was the only woman licensed as a captain in the state of Florida — she received her license way back in 1934. She and her husband Wendall (my Grampa Doc’s little brother) started a fishing business in Boynton Beach, Florida, which is now run by her grandchildren. (Here’s an article published a few months ago about the Sea Mist.) She took engineering classes at a time when that was not considered to be an “appropriate” venture for young ladies. She was comfortable in her own skin, not worried about what people thought of her. She had an excellent sense of humor and a great laugh. In her eighties and nineties, an age when many folks start to relax and kick back, Aunt Janet learned how to use a computer (she had several) and launched an online bookstore. She had an unquenchable curiosity and a deep love of life.

She completely adored her seven kids, her grandkids, and her great-grandkids. She thought they were all brilliant and gorgeous. (And she was right!) But even surrounded by her brood, her heart was big enough to hold love for various nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends “adopted” into our very large family. She had the wonderful ability to make every person feel special as she spoke with each of us.

I hope I can be as feisty and strong and fabulous as Janet when I grow up. And I hope that you have had someone like her in your life!

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4 Responses to Legacy

  1. Bill Perry says:


    Such a poignantly beautiful tribute to your Great Aunt Janet. You let us see her through your eyes, understand why you loved her and gave us the opportunity to appreciate her too. May she rest in peace to rise in glory. Bill

  2. campejc@aol.com says:

    Heather, Beautiful story . Thanks for sharing. Es

  3. Pat Cone says:

    Yes, Hedy, I have experienced a fabulous woman of strength, feisty as can be and fabulous. What a gift we share with others when we share our memories. My Aunty Dotty, both legs were amputated at age 70, because of smoking and diabetes, she had the type of rheumatoid arthritis that made her hands so crooked, and always in pain, you wondered how she used them, She always made us laugh. Ask her if she wanted to go anywhere, she was up and rip roaring ready in a flash. Oh how I loved her spunk and determination and how she made every day special. We were blessed to have her in our lives. She taught us so much, most importantly how to live life fully every day. The anniversary of her death is Sept 26th. I love and miss you Aunty. Thanks for sharing your Great Aunt Janet.

  4. BRENT JETT says:

    Thank you for sharing your great aunt’s story with us. We all need to hear about people who lived a life of quality who also spread joy. It created a good memory for me too and reminded me to look around at the people who are like her. I enjoy your messages and hope to learn lessons from them. God bless you, yours and your work. Joan V. Jett

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