A proudly lifelong resident of Vernon, Janet Maureen Craig Arens died in her sleep on November 18, 2021. She was born on March 20, 1940, to Alex and Nellie Craig. Her father was away with the Canadian Forces during World War II, and she was named by his unit, the Seaforth Highlanders. Janet grew up in the family home on Schubert Street (which is now called 32nd Avenue), where the City Hall complex is now located, was active in Vernon Teen Town, and was described in her Grade 12 yearbook as “always smiling and full of joy.” She received her teaching certificate from Victoria College, then taught and substituted at Bearisto School for a number of years.
Janet married Henry John Arens on August 24, 1962. She was a longtime volunteer with Vernon Jubilee Hospital and the Hospital Foundation, and also worked with the Vernon Museum and was a member of Friends of History. Keeping people connected was important to Janet, and she was the “den mother,” historian, and local connection for the VHS Class of ’58. She helped with on-site arrangements for a number of class reunions and organized monthly class luncheons. In addition, classmates commented that they appreciated that she kept in touch with their parents who still lived in Vernon.
Janet loved to bake, and her freezer was always full of Nanaimo bars, shortbread, or other baked goods that she had prepared for some event. She was a voracious reader, a skilled writer, and was known for her gorgeous penmanship.
She and Henry maintained close relationships with family and were extremely loyal and generous with their parents and older relatives as well as the younger generation of nieces and nephews. The Bonner kids have fond memories of summers in Vernon with Aunt Janet and Uncle Henry, and they all gained tans and excellent swimming skills as a result of idyllic days spent at Kalamalka Lake.
Janet was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Jack (Josi), and Jack's stepdaughter, Christine. Janet is survived by her devoted husband, Henry, who took loving care of her in her final months, and by her sister, Lorna (John) Bonner, of Seattle, Washington, as well as nieces and nephews: Barb Bonner, of Juneau, Alaska; Dan (Lynnette) Bonner, of Seattle; Susan (Joe) Bennett, of Seattle; John (Melinda) Bonner, of Seattle; Suzanne Craig, of Cochrane, Alberta; Maureen (Gerald) Petz, of Seattle; and Patrick Craig, of 100 Mile House. Also surviving are brother Jack's stepdaughters Cyenthia, Yvette, Rita, and Glenda.
Cards may be sent to Henry at The Hamlets, Room 226, 3050 - 29 Avenue, Vernon, BC V1T 9Y9.
The family would like to express heartfelt appreciation to Betty Holtzkog, who has been a tireless advocate and a lifeline for the family for the past few years.