Janet Bradshaw Clark, over 40 year Downey resident, passed away on March 5, 2015 at the age of 79, after suffering complications from a stroke. “Mrs. Clark” as she was known by the community, was an elementary school teacher at Gallatin Elementary for 39 years and had a passion for reading, art, and music. She would run into former students in the community and they would always comment on “music time” in her classroom and how much they enjoyed it. Those close also had the privilege of her annual birthday serenades on piano, accompanied by the howling of her dog Jerry in the background. Truly a memorable experience! She helped produce many musicals and plays at Gallatin with the Christmas musical being her favorite. She enjoyed the school parades and carnivals and would dress up for all the occasions and volunteer many hours to make sure the event was a success for the students. (Photo above was taken at one of these events.)
Janet was an advocate for education and would attend all the DUSD School Board meetings. When she retired, the school board named a “seat” in her honor by placing a personalized name plaque on her favorite chair. The family is looking into continuing her devotion to education by starting a scholarship in her name.
She was an avid knitter, sharing the love of this hobby with her mother Clara. Janet is most known for her personalized Santa Christmas stockings that have been ordered by generations of families and people all over the globe. The hours that went into knitting the stockings were a labor of love that reached thousands of recipients, including Rod Steward and Pat Benatar, over the last 50 years. She would also make baby blankets and booties and distribute them to the local hospitals.
Her love of children shined through in her own family. Janet devoted her life to her two children, son Eric (Ricky) – who preceded her in death last May, and her daughter Jennifer, also a teacher in Downey. The pride in her family extended to her son-in-law John, and 3 grandsons Jake (16), Joey (13), and Jimmy (11) who she taught to read and write growing up. She loved watching them play baseball, her favorite sport, and passed her love of the game to the entire family, including her skills at scorekeeping taught to daughter Jennifer, who is now an official scorekeeper at the little league games.
Janet will be forever missed, but the legacy of her lifetime will live on.
Services held privately.
Published: March 19, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 49