After a rewarding life of caring for others, Mary Ann Janet Grow Cange – known as Jan to her friends, Ma to her children, Granny to her grandchildren and GG to her great-grandchildren – happily passed peacefully on November 18, 2022, returning to her beloved J. LeRoy ‘Lee’ and son, Clifton Cornell, her parents Harry William, Sr and Mildred Ann Ehrlich, and her brother and his wife, Harry William, Jr and Barbara June Zepf. The ills of normal pressure hydrocephalus had long taken our strong, determined, creative mother from us but this is still a difficult time for all. Jan was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and passed in her home in Maryville, Illinois. The time between these two events was spent as a caregiver. At an early age in Ferguson, Missouri, she was there for her maternal grandparents and a beloved aunt. Later, she was always there for her parents and even a not-always-kind mother-in-law. She trained as an RN and further studied to become a BSN. Her patients often commented on what a wonderful nurse she was and even requested her during subsequent visits. Jan also cared for her community, helping to initiate and complete libraries first in Fairview Heights and then in Maryville. She gave freely of her time to community committees, the Girl Scouts, the PTA, etc. She also cared for her church community. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she and Lee, weekly helped others find their ancestors at the local Family History Library for over 20 years. Most importantly, Jan was a very caring wife, mother and grandmother, always making sure those she loved the most were well taken care of. She took these roles very seriously. She married the love of her life on 25 June 1960 and they spent 49 years together laughing, building, creating, traveling and eating out. At the time of Lee’s passing, the doctor remarked that he had lived a decade longer than expected due to her diligent and loving care for him. She was always available for knowledgeable advice, a thoughtful opinion and a helping hand. As children, she and Lee literally with their own hands built our family a home. She sewed our clothing, cut our hair, cooked our food, and taught us to respect ourselves and others. Jan had a life filled with trials. She could have easily crumbled but she didn’t. She always garnered up her strength and pushed through. She was practical but generous. She had a great eye for clothing, interior design, and for all things that just worked. She loved collecting antiques, mostly primitives, and entertaining in her replica 1780s home in the woods, making sure she prepared and served your favorite foods. She enjoyed traveling to historical sites, especially Civil War battlefields and was proud to have an ancestor who served for the Union. She loved the Rolling Stones! Jan is survived by three children: Jennifer Gartland (Mike), Amanda Yancey (Quinn), and Emily Collins (Paul), ten grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren; two nephews, a beloved niece, and many deeply loved friends and cousins. She will forever remain in our hearts as our caregiver.
A funeral service will be held at Barry Wilson Funeral Home, 2800 N Center St, Maryville on Wednesday, November 23rd at 11:00 am. An opportunity to meet with family will take place for an hour before. Burial will follow at the Buck Road Cemetery in Maryville. In lieu of memorial donations, Jan would have wanted you to take your family out for dinner since it was one of her cherished activities.