LAKE CITY — Janet Ruth (Smith) Edwards, of Lake City, passed away peacefully with her family by her side at Belle Oakes Living Center on March 26, 2013, where she and her husband, Ernie, resided for the past three years after residing on Jennings Road for 57 years.
Janet was born Jan. 16, 1930, in Almont, to Elbert Hamlin and Janet Ruth (Thomson) Smith. She moved to Lake City in the eighth grade because they lost their home in a fire. Her mother accepted a position with the Merritt School System teaching physics and chemistry, and her father bought a farm on McGee Road in Lake City, thus starting their lives in Missaukee County.
Janet graduated from Lake City High School in 1947 and attended County Normal and then Central Michigan University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in early education.
She loved teaching school. She taught in Merritt, Falmouth and Lake City Schools. She taught a total of 34 years.
Janet married the love of her life, Ernest Burt Edwards, on June 15, 1949. They were married for 64 years and raised four daughters, Cindy Moore, of Cadillac, Abby (Donald) Jensen, of The Woodlands, Texas, Christine (James) Filak, of Cadillac, and Ann (Keith) VanderWal, of Cadillac.
Janet will be remembered most for her love of family, children, church and community. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and Women’s Association of Lake City, The American Legion Auxiliary, The Rebekahs and The Retired Teachers Association. Janet received the Guest Masonic Award for Community Service in 2000. Along with her husband, Ernie, they were named Lake City’s Chamber of Commerce’s Citizens of the Year in 1995. She was also awarded the Master Teacher Award in Lake City for 19 years of dedicated service to Lake City from 1967 to 1986, as well as the Lake City Kiwanis Club Award for service dedication in 1980.