Heitz, OP, Sister Janet Marie of Grand Rapids (born Charlene Lou Heitz) died on May 16, 2022. She was 82 years old and a Dominican Sister for 63 years.
For the nearly forty years, Sr. Janet Marie served as housekeeper, food service director, and dietary consultant. The following places benefited from her competence and kindness: Aquin Hall, where she served as housekeeper for the Dominican Friars teaching at Aquinas College; and in food service at St. Mary Magdalen, Melvindale; St. Joseph’s Seminary, Grand Rapids; SS. Peter and Paul High School, Saginaw; Aquinata Hall and Marywood.
At SS. Peter and Paul High School she stepped in to fill a need to provide hot lunches for students and staff in addition to her assigned responsibility in the convent. There she ably planned, organized, and managed the school’s kitchen staff for the next several years. Fondly known as “Cookie” she always had samples at the ready for starving students and staff! Her gentle ways and quiet manners remained her trademark.
Sister Janet Marie was a firm believer and participant in continuing education and earned many certificates through workshops, conferences, and course work in her field. She was known for her sewing skills and willingness to repair items for those who needed her skills. She stayed in touch with her high school classmates as well as many of the lay people with whom she worked over the years. In her leisure time, Sister Janet Marie enjoyed sewing, crocheting, and reading. She was a steady presence, a competent and caring person whose quiet, unassuming way contributed immensely to the community, both near and far. She will be greatly missed by family, friends, and members of her community.
Sister Janet Marie is survived by her sisters Barbara Runyon, Grandville, MI; Geraldine Henkel, Rockford, MI; Nancy (Ray) Henkel, Grand Rapids, MI, Mary Beth Wyrick, Wyoming, MI; her brothers Paul Heitz, Grand Rapids, MI; Thomas (Pam) Heitz, Wyoming, MI; brother-in-law Robert Smith, Bartlett, IL; nieces, nephews and many friends and members of her Dominican Community.
In an effort to protect our vulnerable population from the Covid-19 virus a private Funeral Mass with vaccinated immediate family members and Sisters will be celebrated at Chapel of the Word, Marywood on Thursday, May 19. Masks are required.
Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Janet Marie Heitz’ name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.
I was saddened to hear that our cousin Sister Janet had passed. Any time that we ever got together she was always interested in what we were doing and how we were. She led an amazing life in service to her order and to the Church. She was always friendly and enthusiastic about life, and her dedication to her work and to others is outstanding. She will truly be missed.
We are deeply sorry for your loss. Sr. Was my mother’s classmate and roommate at the convent. In fact, I was named after her! We enjoyed going to Marywood to visit her and other sisters. She was loving and she will be missed. Jane Fordos, Charlene Fordos and family.
Oh dear Sr. Janet, may you rest in peace. So thankful for the short time I was privileged to serve you at Aquinata. Such a sweet soul ♥️
Enjoy your new perfect body in heaven.
See you again on the other side.