A Life Lived: Janane Finney’s legacy were her cards, words of encouragement

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It has been noted that everyone has the potential to become an encourager. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be a genius. All you have to do is care about people and show it. However, it’s an art that you learn by practice, and Janane Finney did that week in and week out by sending cards, sharing kind words, and carrying a bag of candy with her, which she distributed to children she came in contact with.

Janane died Sept. 8 after a bout with cancer. She was well-known by the folks at Valley Forge Christian Church, where she was a long-time member and had garnered many friends from her employment at American Air Filter and RiteScreen.

“She was one of the kindest and most caring people around. She was known for sending cards, and she always had candy for the kids,” said her husband, Larry.

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“She especially loved children. She would have made a great mother,” Larry said.

Larry, who has suffered from diabetes most of his life, said he and Janane made the decision before they married they would not have children because of the fear of their having diabetes. “I knew what it was to suffer from it day in and day out, and we did not want a child of ours to have to live with that,” Larry shared.

Janane sent cards of encouragement, anniversary cards, get-well cards, birthday cards, cards of sympathy, etc. “She sent out cards every week by the handfuls. So many people have shared with me about cards they received from her and the little messages she wrote inside the cards,” said Larry.

After she died, Larry said he found boxes and boxes of unsent cards that he shared with others in his church, who sent cards.

In addition to the cards, Janane was known for her candy bag. “When we went out to eat, she would leave candy with her tip. She left candy at the doctor’s office for the nurses. If someone was coughing at church, she passed them a piece of candy. And, of course, the children at church knew she had candy, and they quickly found her,” said Larry.

Janane was a very friendly person and was easy to talk to. Larry declares she would have made a good detective. “People could easily talk to her and they would share any and everything with her. She was the type of people who could make friends with anyone. She could even talk with hardened criminals,” he said.

Janane was not only a friendly person who enjoyed encouraging people, but she enjoyed the simple things in life. “Janane enjoyed watching the flowers grow in our backyard. She had bird feeders everywhere in our backyard, and she especially loved going out on the back deck and watching the birds as they flew to the feeders and filled up on sunflower seed. She also had hummingbird feeders and she enjoyed watching the hummingbirds as they flitted from feeder to feeder,” Larry shared.

Janane didn’t have much family, but she enjoyed what she did have. However, she had many, many friends whom she loved like family.

Janane Finney never achieved greatness in this life, but many remember her for her kind words of encouragement when they were going through a difficult time, the smiles she gave them, her kind deeds, and, the many pieces of candy that left smiles on kids’ faces.

Janane Finney touched many lives by her simple acts of kindness.