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Peacefully surrounded by her family, Janet Marie Tam passed away on Saturday, November 19th at the graceful age of eighty-eight years. Janet, also known to many as Marie, Ms. Chin, or more preciously, Mom, and Popo, is survived by her son, Richard, granddaughters, Tiffany and Ashley, and daughter-in-law, Nieka. 

Janet was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where she spent the majority of her years. Her natural independence, strong-will, and curiosity led her on many adventures throughout the world where she never met a stranger. Anyone that had the luxury of forming a relationship with Janet knows she was your fiercest protector, wisest sage, elegant and intelligent yet graceful and humble, forever loyal, compassionate, empathetic, and had a love for her family that was unwavering, unconditional, genuine, and so rare in our modern world. 

Janet’s love for the world also included her dogs of all sizes and breeds ranging from the smaller breed of Shih Tzu to larger breeds of German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Dobermans, and also her garden, where she spent many afternoons tending to each tree and plant in a home where there were no shortages of blooming botanicals. The orchid flower, notably her favorite, describes her elegance, beauty, and reflects her deep reverence for the mystery of life all around us. 

Possibly Janet’s most profound legacy she leaves behind is her love for her son, Richard. She imparted in him all the best parts of her - her unconditional love, fierce protectiveness, loyalty, zest for life and all the adventures and fun we can find. The deep connection these two shares is one that is difficult to articulate, but easy to see and understand if you’ve had the fortune to witness their relationship in person. Richard reflects on some of his fondest memories of spontaneous car drives around the island, finding the most unique and off-the-grid experiences while having some of their deepest conversations. The impact these adventures made on Richard has led to his continuation of this family tradition that he shares with his daughters.

Janet’s devotion to her family expanded to welcome grand daughter, Tiffany, and the new title of ‘Popo’. Notably Janet’s (marginally) second most profound legacy she leaves behind is her love for Tiffany and the deep bond these two shared. Similarly, Janet raised her granddaughter - creating memories of sunsets spent gardening, coloring, playing hopscotch, secret weekend adventures, Sunday dim-sum, and their open, honest, free flowing conversations. Throughout their years together, Janet imparted many life and personal lessons to her granddaughter - some spoken but many only taught through the deeply unique and intimate bond the two shared. Janet’s unwavering love became her granddaughter’s fixed NorthStar; wherever she explored, or however far she wandered, she was always her granddaughter’s silent and resilient safe harbor. 

In continuation of an expanding family to include her present daughter in law Nieka, another special relationship was developed. Nieka not only became her daughter in law, she also became her official escapade partner, whether venturing off for the island’s tastiest ice cream, Canada’s favorite Tim Horton’s coffee and donut or for a hamburger and fries. During those escapades life lessons were passed on, and not to forget the kitchen talks where she passed on her coveted Chinese roast chicken recipe along with other cooking tips.

The arrival of her second grand daughter Ashley brought joy and placed her again in grandmother mode enabling her to further enjoy the grandparent privileges. Hence, another special bond was developed with Ashley, especially during those early morning preparations for school and the after school down time moments. She enjoyed those moments creating lasting childhood memories whether nurturing Ashley’s creative energy coloring or being the secret subject of Ashley’s paparazzi fetish to developing her social awareness with their whacky tea parties to sorting out the loot from trick or treating or just being there for those other quiet moments.

The loss of a family member is always difficult, however, Janet was more than her relationships to people; she was everything they needed, even before they knew they did. She was a sweet, kind, fiery, quick-witted, intuitive, wise, intelligent, strong, loving, genuine soul. Janet Marie was more than her familiar titles, she was our confidante, our best friend, our sage, teacher and mentor. We thank you all for your support of our family during this difficult time.

A memorial service will be held on January 20, 2023 at Jesus, Bread of Life Catholic Cemetery, 3055 Fostertown Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

Proverb 31:25: “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
Fertig Funeral Home

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