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Mary Jane Janssens, IHM Associate

Mary Jane (VanDevelde) Janssens, 88, of Monroe went home to be with Our Heavenly Father on August 4, 2023. She passed away peacefully in her home with family, under the compassionate support of the caregivers from Right At Home of Southeastern Michigan and Sylvania, Ohio, and ProMedica Hospice of Monroe. Mary’s family wishes to thank relatives, friends, and neighbors for all of their love and support.

Born on November 16, 1934, in Monroe, the oldest child of Jerome and Margaret (Delrue) VanDevelde, Mary was a lifelong resident of Monroe. She was a 1953 graduate of St. Mary Academy in Monroe and attended Marygrove College in Detroit. She married her high school sweetheart, Richard, on September 8, 1956, at St. Mary’s church in Monroe. In September of this year, they would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. They were blessed with six children: Mary (John) Gruber of Monroe; Richard (Sharon) Janssens of Novi; Jayne (Richard) Beland of Dundee; Julie (Greg) Althaver of Erlinger, Kentucky; Elaine (Jim) Peters of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Ann Marie (Tom) Rutherford of Milford; eighteen grandchildren (Jonathan, Justin, Jared, Margaret, John, Stephanie, Alyson, Bryan, Kathryn, Nathan, Maranda, Austin, Evan, Aaron, Adam, Garrett, Megan, and Keegan) and eleven great-grandchildren.

Mary was a dedicated wife and mother who cared deeply for her family. She especially enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s and great children’s special events over the years. Her family will remember her for her exceptional cooking (Thanksgiving dressing, red cabbage, apple pie) and her famous red raspberry Jello salad. Mary and Richard enjoyed traveling, especially their trips to Austria, France, Ireland, Hawaii and Alaska. They also enjoyed time at their chalet at Lakes Of The North. Mary had a passion for Polka music, and could never let a good Polka be played without being on the dance floor.

Throughout her lifetime, Mary was very involved in the community. She was employed by Monroe Public Schools for over twenty years as a Community Education Program Coordinator. She was a member of the Monroe Women’s Club, a 4-H leader for twenty-five years, chairman of the Promotion and Education Committee for Monroe County Farm Bureau, and an IHM Associate.

She was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Parish in Monroe, where she served as a religious education teacher for twenty years, eucharistic minister, parish council member, and member of the Christian Women’s organization. She devoted her life to the Blessed Mary and prayed the Rosary often.

Mary is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and sisters Madeline (George) Denecker of Riga and Patricia (Roger) Kidd of Monroe. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her younger sister Theresa and brother Jim.