Cover photo for Janice Koehl's Obituary
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1946 Janice 2024

Janice Koehl

January 31, 1946 — March 22, 2024

Canton

With profound sorrow, we announce the passing of our dearly beloved Janice K Koehl nee Hill on March 22, 2024.


Jan was a navy baby, born to Jack and Kathryn Hill, in Miami Beach, Florida on January 31,1946. The family returned to Akron where Janice became the older and favorite sister of Joy Lynn Hill.


Growing up, Jan was crowned the  May Queen in kindergarten and touted as a natural born leader by her teachers at Barber elementary. She was tutored at home throughout middle and high school due to a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. It didn't stop her from perfecting her basketball game in the backyard court with lifelong friends Jack Holderbaum andJim Pearson. She was an awesome foul line shooter, and fire baton twirler.


During her teen years, she met her greatest love, John Koehl, while he was hanging out at his cousin's house across the street kicking tires and looking cool. They dated throughout high school and married after her graduation in 1965.


Jan loved flowers and plants as a child, and turned her passion into a career by attending Bill Hickson's floral design school in Cleveland. She worked at Airport Florist in Ellet for several years during the seventies and eighties. 


In the late sixties, Jan chose to have a surgery known as an ileostomy to 'cure' the ulcerative colitis. With this new lease on life, Janice embraced every minute, crediting the operation with saving her life. She wanted to help others with ostomies, and trained at  the Cleveland clinic to become an enterostomal therapist. She worked for Gill ostomy supply/ World Wide home health and was contracted to work daily at Akron City Hospital until her retirement. She worked on all units in the hospital and helped train healthcare team members, and most importantly, teach patients how to take care of themselves. She motivated people by example- that in spite of the illness and the lifetime burden of an ostomy, people could still lead a full and wonderful life. She was truly dedicated to taking care of other people. Jan was involved with the Akron chapter of the Ostomy Association most of her adult life. 


Jan & John had an incredible and enviable marriage, lasting for almost 58 years. They were each other's best friend, and claimed eachother as their favorite hobby. Jan had a great sense of humor and laughed at all of John's jokes. They finished each other's sentences and it seemed like they communicated telepathically. They were also known to bicker incessantly.


Jan and John have one daughter, Kristin (Dominic Vendola) and two grandchildren Clover and Kat McKenna. She is survived by her amazing sister, Joy Hill. Jan treasured every minute spent with her family and we always knew that no matter what look she gave us, Jan deeply loved and ardently cared for us 


The last few years of Janice's life were marred by bouts of illness from chronic kidney disease. In January of 2024 Janice opted for  hospice care at home. John dutifully and lovingly cared for Jan until the end. She quietly slipped away while holding John's hands. 


The family is grateful for help from friends Sally Thompson Joan King, Cindy Morgan, Beth Hamo. Heartfelt thanks to caregivers at Summa Home Health Abby, Meredith & Jennie and Traditions Hospice Dr Matthew Taylor,  Diana, Kim & Dawn. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Jan's legacy will continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have known her. Her compassion and devotion to her family will be sorely missed.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janice Koehl, please visit our flower store.

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