Janet Bloom Grevstad, 92, of Sunapee, New Hampshire, died peacefully on January 4, 2023 at New London (N.H.) Hospital after a brief period of declining health.
She was born on September 27, 1930 in Rochester, N.Y. to Frank and Mary (Beeman) Bloom. After her father's death, the family moved to Ohio, where she would attend Lakewood High School. On the first day of eleventh grade, she met and set her cap for Paul Grevstad. Their love story and model partnership would continue for 50 years.
Janet attended the University of Michigan, where she became a member of Alpha Chi Omega and a lifelong football fan.
Janet and Paul married in 1951. She worked as a legal secretary in Cleveland while Paul completed his studies. They and their children, Lisa Mary and Eric Paul, moved to West Hartford, Conn. in 1964. Janet rose from a school secretary and paraprofessional to the senior administrator at Conard High School, responsible for everything from the school's master schedule to supervising the custodians and advising the yearbook staff.
The Grevstads kept their home on Ridgewood Road full of friends and neighbors, and their family expanded as they hosted students through AFS and Project Concern. They vacationed in New Hampshire, first on Mountainview Lake and then on Lake Sunapee.
Taking early retirement and relocating to Sunapee in 1986, Janet and Paul opened a desktop publishing company, Phaenon Corporation, and enjoyed winters in Sarasota, Fla. Following the deaths of her husband and daughter, Janet lived in Simsbury, Conn. from 2002 until 2018 before returning to New Hampshire for her final years at the Sunapee Cove assisted living community.
Janet was deeply committed to volunteer service. In addition to supporting Paul's work with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association and Sunapee Harbor Riverway Corp., she served as a trustee of Abbott Library, chair of the Friends of the Colby-Sawyer College Library, and chair of Kearsarge Habitat for Humanity's family relations committee. In Simsbury, she brought library books to homebound elders and helped immigrant high schoolers prepare for college English exams.
Her dedication to service was grounded in her faith. She was a deacon and moderator at First Baptist Church in New London. After receiving a prayer shawl following daughter Lisa's death in 2002, she established the prayer shawl ministry at First Baptist which continues today. She appreciated sacred music, good preaching, and church book clubs.
Janet was talented and creative; she loved quilting, knitting, and interior and graphic design. She played the piano, sang in choirs, and enjoyed classical music. She could solve the hardest crosswords. She was an avid reader (poetry, mysteries, The New Yorker), a wise editor, and a meticulous proofreader.
She loved her friends, keeping in touch across decades and distance. She adored animals, from a series of dogs and cats to loons, cardinals, pelicans, and the owls that inspired her granddaughters to know her as "Who-Who." Most of all, she loved the family she led, encouraged, and inspired.
Janet was predeceased by her husband Paul, her daughter Lisa and son-in-law Mark, and many dear friends. She is survived by her son Eric Grevstad and daughter-in-law Patricia Reid Rup of Bradenton, Fla.; two granddaughters, Liddy Barlow and her husband Gregory of Pittsburgh and Sarah-Mary Gerchman and her fiancée Sharon Riley of Cincinnati; two great-grandchildren, Pippa and Edmund Barlow of Pittsburgh; her brother, Laurence Bloom of Peabody, Mass.; two sisters-in-law, Hildegard McGown of Madison, Wisc. and Agnes Hjelle of Decorah, Ia.; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, June 3 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of New London, N.H., with the Rev. Liddy Barlow officiating, followed by a reception in the church hall and burial at North Road Cemetery in Sunapee. All are welcome.
Although Janet loved flowers, she loved generosity even more, so the family requests that any gifts in her memory be made to the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (P.O. Box 683, Sunapee, NH 03782), helping to conserve the beauty of a region she cherished.
Saturday, June 3, 2023 11:00 AM The First Baptist Church 461 Main Street New London, NH 03257