Janice Conner Lewis
Janice Conner Lewis, a long-time resident of Santa Maria, California, since 1967, completed her life here on earth and went to be with her Lord & Savior on Monday, November 5, 2012. Janice was surrounded by her family, who kept her at home as she requested, following a four-year long battle with Vascular Disease & Alzheimer’s Disease.
Janice was born in Lower Salford Township, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1936, along with her fraternal twin sister, Janet.
Janice was a blessing to many hundreds of children in the Santa Maria Valley over the 50+ years she taught regular education, along with 18 years of challenging instruction for special needs students, and ending with several years of substitute teaching. Janice graduated from Grace College (Winona Lake, IN) with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and eventually obtained her Master’s degree in Special Education from Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA.
Her faithful aide, Eva Castillo, was at her side throughout 12 years of teaching emotionally handicapped (EH) classes, and Janice was loved by students, teachers, and administrators alike. Following her retirement from teaching after 42 years in 2003, Janice substitute-taught for her fellow educators in grades K-6th, through the fall of 2008. At that time, because of multiple frontal lobe strokes & decline in full mental clarity, due to Vascular & Alzheimer’s dementia, it was impossible for Janice to continue in her passion for serving her community in the classroom.
Janice was a committed, gracious Pastor’s wife (to Alva L. Conner of Simi Valley, CA) in the National Grace Brethren Fellowship for 20 years, using her many God-given skills (especially in music and women’s ministries) to serve the body of Christ. During several years living in Simi Valley, Janice founded & directed a Christian Preschool under the ministry of Simi Valley Grace Brethren Church, which continues in operation to this day. She served as Pastor’s wife for churches in Harrisburg, PA – Galion, OH – and Santa Maria, CA, where her sweet spirit of kindness and deep personal faith in God her Savior impacted thousands of people for Jesus Christ over her lifetime.
Janice was well-known for her hospitality in cooking Pennsylvania Dutch-style meals and special desserts, along with her talent of being a concert-level pianist, vocalist, organist, and marimbist. As a Mother, she modeled how to run a household properly, using all her skills as a chef, seamstress, baker, musician, artist, and tutor. She made everything look so easy and enjoyable. Janice loved the Lord Jesus with all her heart, as well as the Bible, the precious Word of God, and especially enjoyed reading the Amplified version throughout her 70 years of walking with the Lord, since early childhood.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, Pastor Russell & Naomi (Moyer) Weber of Roanoke, VA, as well as by her “baby brother”, Thomas Weber, who went to be with the Lord way too young, in 1986 at the age of 40. Janice found great joy and pleasure in sharing her birthday with her twin, Janet Weber, who was a registered nurse in Philadelphia, PA, until her death on 12 September 2001, the day immediately following the Twin Towers tragedy in New York City. Janice was also preceded in death by her precious grandson, Brandon Russell Nettleton (daughter Melody’s son), who left this world after 8 days of life on 16 March, 1987. Janice is also now re-united in Heaven with her sister in law, Sally Weber (Larry’s 1st wife) – Robert Messner, brother in law & husband to sister, Nancy – and Duane Heavener, husband of her sister, Marie.
Janice’s greatest joy was in being a Mother to her three daughters, Melody Bumanglag-Fausel, Anita Conner, and Brenda Conner-Hansen. She is survived by all three of her girls, along with Melody’s husband, Patrick Fausel, and Brenda’s husband, Doug Hansen. She adored being “Grandma Janice” to her eight (8) grandchildren – Rachelle Nettleton, Sarah Regalado (husband Tony), Lisa Gonzalez (husband Silver), Alicia Bumanglag, Tabitha Conner, Brina Conner, Mathias Conner, and Dakota Conner. Janice is survived by three additional siblings – Pastor Lawrence Weber, Hagerstown MD, with his wife, Nancy – Marie Weber Heavener of Harleysville, PA – and Nancy Weber Messner of Akron, OH. Janice also loved hearing from her 19 nieces and nephews over the years, most of whom live on the East Coast or Midwest.
Janice worshiped & served in ministry as a member of The Harbor Fellowship in Santa Maria, CA for 13 years, and continued to maintain close relationships with her dear friends from The Harbor even after she left to worship at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria, CA in 2010. She also was involved in the Central Coast Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an exclusive teacher’s club, where she served in various officer positions, including President. Additionally, Janice was a regular attendee of the Christian Women’s Club monthly meetings / luncheons in Santa Maria. She frequently was asked to play the piano and/or pipe organ for local weddings, funerals, and Christian conferences of all kinds.
A very special funeral service will be held at the Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria, CA on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm, officiated by Pastor Benji Magness (Senior Pastor at Grace Baptist). Also participating in her service will be Pastor Steve Pruett (The Harbor Church), and Mr. David DeBoer, Deacon at Grace Baptist in Santa Maria & Chaplain at Merrill Gardens Senior Community. A private, family burial will take place at Santa Maria Cemetery. Janice’s funeral is open to the public, who are all welcomed to celebrate her life and faith in Christ, as well as her passion for the Gospel of Jesus to a dying, lost world.
A public viewing will be held at Grace Baptist Church from 10:00 am to 1:00pm immediately prior to the funeral service. Nancy Weber Messner, Janice’s younger sister, will be giving a sacred mini-concert just prior to the start of the funeral, beginning at 12:40pm. Nancy has served the Lord in music ministry for 45+ years around the world as an accomplished concert pianist.
Memorial donations in her name (Janice Conner Lewis) can be made to the Santa Maria Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association , 528 South Broadway, Santa Maria CA, 93454 – (805) 636-6432.
Arrangements are in the care of Magner-Maloney Funeral Home and Crematory. Sympathy notes and words of support may be expressed at www.magnermaloney.com.