Janet Ellen Sanborn

Text size

Janet Ellen Sanborn

December 30, 1944 - November 20, 2018

Janet Ellen Sanborn Janet Ellen Schmidt Sanborn passed from this life on Nov. 20, 2018 after a five-year struggle with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease. Her husband, Terry, and longtime care giver was at her side.
Janet graduated from Traverse City Central High School, attended Northwestern Michigan College (where she met Terry), the University of Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in education.
Her life was devoted primarily to family, volunteerism for children and support for her husband's business career that encompassed many family moves in the early years.
Janet is survived by her husband of 54 years, Terry Sanborn; her son, Brett (Debbie) Sanborn; her daughter, Shana (Marc) DiTullio; five grandchildren; two nieces; three nephews; and several great-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Helen Schmidt; her brother, Kenn Schmidt (Kay); and her sister, Karen Schmidt Overholt Hubbard (Noel and Bernie); a nephew; and a great-nephew.
Janet was the glue that held family together. She raised two outstanding children as evidenced by their character and independence. She had a special place in her heart for the children of her sister, Karen, who passed away at a young age; Kraig Overholt, Kendra Overholt Pauline (Dave); and great-nieces, Jamie and Rachel. Holidays and visits by family to the Northport cottage were her joy.
Janet believed in being a stay-at-home mom, primarily focused on raising her children and being involved. And involved she was! She substitute taught, was the PTA legislative liaison, she organized and co-coordinated a 100-plus volunteer force for the Worthington, Ohio, schools, was instrumental in organizing baccalaureate, party after the prom, senior party, and with Terry starting and leading parent support groups for Worthington cross country and track and field. She helped endow the Gary Smith Worthington Classic and was named Worthington Parent of the Year.
Janet was also active in supporting Columbus Children's Hospital as a longtime T.W.I.G. member, 25-year volunteer at the Memorial Golf Tournament, where she was on the Women's Committee, and led over 75 volunteers working in the souvenir operations.
She was a deacon at her church in St. Joseph. She was also an avid tennis player. She played competitive team tennis in Ohio and Florida and socially in Leelanau County. She was a social golfer and helped start the Northbridge Scramble at her club in Florida. Janet enjoyed a good party, dancing and all sorts of cards and games with family and friends.
Janet was always petite, fit and well put together. You never saw her without hair styled and smartly dressed. She was vibrant, strong, organized and unafraid to speak her mind! Her many friends are all around the U.S., in Europe, South Korea, Costa Rica and Japan.
The family will plan a celebration of her life in the spring. Some ashes will be spread on the water by the family cottage, the reminder will be interred in the Sanborn family plot in Traverse City's Memorial Gardens.
Memorials can be made directly to Parkinson's Place, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd., #100, Sarasota, FL 34232; or Northport Highlands Memory Care, 215 High St., Northport, MI 49670.
Published on November 25, 2018
Send flowers
in memory of Janet
See more

Obituary published in

Arrangements by




Print Guestbook

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on February 22, 2019.

Share a message

12 posts

Jan and Tom Tyler
Dec 02, 2018
Tom and I are very sorry about your loss! We have many great memories of what a special person she was.
john metevia
Dec 01, 2018
Wanted to express my condolences to the sanborn family. Death is an enemy and robs us of our loved ones. 1Cor. 15:26. It's never easy, regardless of the circumstances.
Bill and Dale Morgan
Nov 30, 2018
Every time we saw her she was dressed for whatever
sport that she was involved with that day. She was sweet and you know that she focused on family, her sports and
and Terry.
Annette Curry Povich
Nov 30, 2018
I loved playing tennis with Janet and the Northport gang! She was one awesome player! We had many laughs. I am so sorry for your loss.
Nov 28, 2018
Jennifer & Jim Flexer
Nov 27, 2018
I have many happy memories of Janet’s crackling wit, kind heart and crazy euchre skills. So very sorry for your loss.
Joan O'Dowd
Nov 26, 2018
Janet was a very elegant, intelligent lady whom I truly admired.

My condolences to Terry and the entire family
Wendy de Bear
Nov 26, 2018
I hope that your many memories will ease your sadness in time.
Rick & Bonnie Earle
Nov 25, 2018
Janet will always be an inspiration by her courage. Prayers to Terry and the family.
Sherry Chivas
Nov 25, 2018
A beautiful woman, for a beautiful man, who made a beautiful family. She will be missed by many.
Nov 25, 2018
Janet was one of the most impressive women I've ever met. She always looked elegant was extremely intelligent and smiling. My condolences to Terry and all of the family. Joan O'Dowd former Northbridge neighbor
Harry & Carol Hoesley
Nov 25, 2018
Our sincere sympathies! Janet was a special gal, and will be missed.