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Memory of Janet Marshall Wilson

Rob Karr received this heartfelt memory from a close friend of Janet's on 5/19/18. We are grateful to Annis for her letter/memory:


Janet Marshall Wilson was looking forward to her 50th reunion of her high school class. Sadly, on Jan. 6 2018, Janet was lost to us because of end stage renal disease caused by a medication she took faithfully for decades, which destroyed her kidneys. That medication was Lithium for Bi-Polar Disorder, which afflicted Janet and many many others. She tried for 10 years to get a kidney transplant, tried to get the ports and membranes surgically implanted to hook her up to dialysis machines, but in the end, all failed and Janet was gone.

During her life Janet accomplished so much. She was truly a brilliant person. She played the clarinet, and wrote poetry. She traveled all over the world. I have Machu Pichu on my bucket list, Janet went there twice. Not the typical tourist visit either, because Janet wanted the full immersion of living with a family there, learning the language, culture, art, and to take it all in. She proudly hung the handwoven plant fiber vest which was handmade in Peru as a piece of wall art. She made beautiful pottery and used the plates, bowls, and pitchers are her everyday china. She welded and made beautiful art pieces, and painted. She preferred a style of Haiku in her writing, but also wrote other poetry, and was a big fan of Janice Mirakatani, who she knew personally along with the Reverend Cecile Williams from Glyde Memorial which she called her church. She always had a cat living with her, and at the time of her death, Peter Wilson Cardova the Cat was cuddled close to her heart, bidding her farewell.

Janet worked as a Patient's Rights Advocate with the skill she learned at JFK University. Her territory covered three counties and she represented mental health clients in their court hearings, defending their rights and offering her many years of experience, along with words of wisdom and coping skills. She always traveled to visit her clients with Marlboro cigarettes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other items they needed, even phone cards to call home. Janet was a descendant of the Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall, and also Pocahontas. She always included the "Marshall" in her name because of her proud lineage.

I had my 50th reunion last summer, and the one job no one volunteered for was making the board with photos of the 43 people we knew we had lost to accidents, suicide, cancer, and a host of other ailments. I ended up doing the board in remembrance of all those beautiful faces of the friends we shared adventures with thru grade school and then on to high school. It was the best reunion any of us could remember, and there were friendships rekindled. We only know where half of our classmates live, so we expect that there are many more who have left us, but Janet's spirit will be with you as you celebrate. Enjoy yourselves and remember those who have left you. We included the poem below...

Annis Pereyra
20-year friend of Janet Marshall Wilson, JD

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.