Florence Vera Tracy Janik died peacefully at home on Jan. 13, 2010. Born on Jan, 25, 1922, in Klamath Falls, Ore., she was the child of Joseph Tracy and Hannah Anderson Tracy Wood and the stepdaughter of George Wood.
She is survived by her husband of nearly 66 years, Joseph John Janik; two sons, Josef Jan Janik (Margaret) and Ronald Tracy Janik (Marva); a daughter, Kerrone Lee Arbacauskas (Tony); two grandsons, Ben Arbacauskas and Rob Freeman; four granddaughters, Leslie Janik, Tiffany Janik-Pecknold, Megan Janik and Erika Owens; five great-grandchildren, Sierra, Aidan, Shae, Savannah and Audrey; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Florence graduated from The Dalles High School, class of 1940. She was a flag bearer of The Dalles Booster Girls and a member of Rainbow.
She entered the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES) in 1942 and was assigned to Washington, D.C. While there, she met a handsome, Errol Flynn look-alike, Joseph Janik, who had recently returned from the Pacific. They were married on Feb. 7, 1944. While still in Washington, their first son, Jan, was born.
In October of 1945, they moved to Joe’s hometown of Chicago. After three years in Chicago, they decided that Oregon would be a better place to raise a family and moved to The Dalles.
They lived with Florence’s parents on 13th Street while Joe built their house on a vacant lot next door. During their stay in The Dalles, Tracy and Kerrone were born and Joe began his career with Pacific Power and Light. Subsequent moves took them to North Bend in 1962, Beaverton in 1970 and Yakima in 1973.
While moving from place to place, Florence always found employment to help make ends meet, but her primary focus was on her family and raising their three children. She loved gardening and wherever they lived always had a beautiful garden and a list of “garden” projects for Joe to work on in his spare time. She loved collecting antiques and had many collections that she and Joe added to wherever they lived.
Joe retired from PP&L in 1978 and he and Florence settled into retirement life in Pacific City, Ore., where she was active in the church and the library committee. Florence and Joe were members of the Pacific City Library Club which raised funds and helped build the Pacific City branch of Tillamook County Library. Florence was an elected member of the Pacific City Water Board and served on the board of Pacific City Presbyterian Church.
Even though Florence and Joe were somewhat reluctant to give up their independent life in Pacific City, in 1998 they moved to Down Manor Retirement Home in Hood River to be closer to their son Tracy and his family in Cascade Locks. Their reluctance was overcome rather quickly and both served terms on the Down Manor Civic Club board and Florence, who loved playing games, was soon active in bridge, cribbage, bunko and one of her favorites, mahjong.
In December 2009, they moved to Cascade Locks to live with Tracy and Marva. As were the previous nearly 88 years of her life, her last weeks in Cascade Locks were full of love and laughter.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory can be made to Hospice of the Gorge or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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