Janice Lawless, 82, of Streator passed away peacefully on Friday, July 10, 2020 at Liberty Village in Peru, IL after a long battle with dementia.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Michael the Archangel Church. Msgr. Brian Brownsey will officiate.
A public visitation for all of the family’s friends and relatives will be from 4-7 P.M. Wednesday, July 15, at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator. The rosary will be recited at 6:45 P.M. Wednesday.
Burial will be in St. Anthony Cemetery, Streator. Pallbearers include Matthew Darrow, Ryan Darrow, Nicholas Stefan, Megan Lawless, Steven Lawless, and Mitchell Lawless.
Janice Lawless was born October 28, 1937 in Jacksonville, IL to Hurley and Grace (Long) Zumwalt. Janice was the cherished wife of Francis Richard Lawless. They entered the magical state of wedlock on September 26, 1959 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, IL.
She was the loving mother of five children: Suzanne (Micheal) Manning, Spring Valley, IL Cathleen (Raymond) Darrow, Streator, IL, Colleen (Michael) Stefan, Streator, IL, David (Beth) Lawless, Streator, IL, and Richard (Paula) Lawless, Streator, IL. Janice was the beloved grandmother to eight grandchildren: Matthew (Tina) Darrow, Streator, IL, Ryan (Amber) Darrow, Manito, IL, Nicholas (Karilyn) Stefan, Charleston, SC, Benjamin (Jenny) Kindermann, Cornell, IL. Jeremiah Kindermann, Peru, IL, Megan (Caleb) Lawless, Effingham, IL, Steven (Mollie) Lawless, Barksdale AFB, LA, and Mitchell Lawless, Streator, IL. Janice was also a loving great-grandmother to eight great-grandchildren.
Spending part of her childhood in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Janice graduated from St. Patricks High School. Moving back to the Chicago area, Janice attended Mundelein Collage and worked for the American Book Company before marrying Francis and settling down in Elmhurst, IL to raise their family. Janice was active in the Girls Scouts as a leader, she served a term as the president of the Collegeview Homeowners Assoc., and worked as a political reporter for the Elmhurst Press. In 1973, Janice and Francis moved their family to Cordova, IL where she continued her role as a Girl Scout Leader and took on a new role as a religious education teacher for the youth program at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. In 1976, the family made one final move to Streator, IL. Making new friends and expanding their family even more, Janice became very active in the family’s new church, St. Anthony of Padua Church. Here, Janice became involved with the Millennium Jubilee Committee, Light of Christ Prayer Group, R.C.I.A. program, Secular Franciscan Third Order, the WATCH Program, a bible study group, and religious education. Janice was also a volunteer with the New Hope Pregnancy Center and was a member of the Streator Library Board.
Janice had a passion for reading books and keeping a journal of her life events. She took great pride in her heritage and knowing that her ancestors settled in America in the 1700’s. Eventually settling in the St. Louis area, her family had ties to Daniel Boone. In 1798, Janice’s ancestor Jacob Zumwalt built a log cabin which became known as Zumwalt’s Fort where he and Daniel Boone traded and drank with the local Indians. Zumwalt’s Fort still stands today in a park called Fort Zumwalt Park in O’Fallon, MO.
Janice was preceded in death by her husband Francis Lawless, her parents Hurley and Grace Zumwalt, a sister Joyce Reynolds, a brother-in-law James Lawless, and a granddaughter Lauren Dimond.
Memorials may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or the St. Vincent’s DePaul Society of St. Michael’s Church.
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