Janice Coleen Tarnowski went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 16, 2016, after a battle with cancer. Jan was 62 years old.

Jan was predeceased by her husband Joe in 2006. She leaves behind her father and mother, Cole and Shirley Waite. She also leaves behind her brothers and sisters, Joan (Daryl), Jeff (Tammy), Joel, Jeanette, and Carol (Danny).

Jan also leaves behind her 4 sons that are married and have children: Joe and Kirsten (Carlson), Elizabeth and Luke. Jason and Jen (Wagner), Jeremiah, Grace, Samuel. Jeremy and Sarah (Armstrong), Gabbee, Ethan, Joey, Timmy. Jon and Tiffany (Shaeffer), Annie, Oliver.

Jan had a love for the Lord and others. Everything she did was to serve others and make them feel special. She was an extraordinary mother, daycare provider, PTA mom, band chaperone, Cub Scout leader, high school boosters director, church secretary, youth group volunteer, secretary to the president at Ambassadors Football, world traveler, missionary, and surrogate mother to anyone that needed one. She was also so much more. Jan will be greatly missed by all that knew her.

Services for Jan were previously held at Friendship Alliance Church on April 19. In lieu of flowers, she has asked that donations be made to Ambassadors Football and designated to African missions. To donate go to and click on "In memory of Jan".

Posted by Jeanette Waite on April 18, 2018
I can only imagine... I imagine her arriving in heaven, standing in front of Christ and all his glory. He is standing there with out stretched arms welcoming her. As he enfolds her into his loving embrace, he says, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

She is happy. She is finally home

For some reason it is hitting me hard this year. I love you Jan.
Posted by Tammy Waite on April 16, 2018
Thinking of you today dear sister, and the way you loved your live. Bold and brave and faithful. I miss our "secrets of a church secretary" talks. I love you and am so glad I had you in my life for so many years. <3
Posted by Deborah Puckett on April 19, 2016
Beautiful woman who served Jesus. She touched so many lives.

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Posted by Jeanette Waite on April 18, 2018
I can only imagine... I imagine her arriving in heaven, standing in front of Christ and all his glory. He is standing there with out stretched arms welcoming her. As he enfolds her into his loving embrace, he says, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

She is happy. She is finally home

For some reason it is hitting me hard this year. I love you Jan.
Posted by Tammy Waite on April 16, 2018
Thinking of you today dear sister, and the way you loved your live. Bold and brave and faithful. I miss our "secrets of a church secretary" talks. I love you and am so glad I had you in my life for so many years. <3
Posted by Deborah Puckett on April 19, 2016
Beautiful woman who served Jesus. She touched so many lives.
Recent stories

My hero

Shared by Jeffrey Waite on April 24, 2016

The  first time it happened was in Kindergarten. Mrs. Walker said, “so you’re Jan’s brother. Are you a good student like her?” And I heard it again  and again from every teacher I ever had for the next twelve years. You might think how terrible for a kid to have to live in a shadow. But that’s not how it was. Each teacher (and anyone else who ever asked me) saw my big silly grin as I said in my proudest voice, “yes she is! That’s my sister.” You see, Jan was my hero, even to the day she left for Glory. I have always been so proud to be her brotther. If there had been a Jan button, I'd have worn it. Thank you God for my big sister. I hope that some day I can be just like her.

Jeremy's talk from Jan's Memorial

Shared by Tammy Waite on April 24, 2016

Jeremy Tarnowski
April 19 at 8:09pm · Garrettsville, OH ·
This was my message I gave at my mom's funeral today. Thankfully, with today's technology I can share it with those who weren't there today. Love you mom, Jan Tarnowski.
Hi my name is Jeremy Tarnowski. My mom’s third son, and her favorite son.
This is my family, my wife Sarah, my children Gabbee, Ethan, Joey and Timmy.
First I would like to read a poem that Gabbee wrote for a school project about her grandmother.
“Your kindness will never be forgotten as we remember you this day.
Your laughter now a broken song that we cannot bear to listen to without breaking once again.
Now we stand here at your grave and it reminds us of so much.
For every year we met for Thanksgiving was the best of my childhood.
And the time we spent with you and your brother playing Monopoly for the longest time was a happy day that I will cherish forever.
When the family visited the beloved house we all remembered the holidays spent there and the memories made. But, we especially remembered you.
Now your voice will be eternally speaking throughout the clouds of heaven.
But, we know that you are now at rest."
As many of you may know my mother was 62 years old. She was my mother for 14,617 days. That was not long enough. My mom was an involved mother. She was involved in many of our activities. She was involved in our school and sports and anything else we did.
My mom would try to figure me out constantly. And as being the rebellious one, I tried to make it difficult for her. She was a patient woman and she worked really hard at it. And then when I got older I wanted my mom to know who I was. I wanted her to be able to help me, because I really needed help. And she was there every time I needed it.
If someone was to ask who was Jan Tarnowski, what would be the answer? It may be safe to say everybody knows she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sibling, a day caretaker, a missionary, an involved parent and so many other things we saw on the outside. I had the the fortunate privilege of sorting through some of her personal belongings as we were preparing mom for hospice. In one book that held her credit cards and business cards and even social security cards for her and my father, i found tucked away some notes written in her hand. A treasure to be found, indeed. Here is a note that described her purpose.
“To come alongside young men who have not yet found Christ to be first and foremost in their lives and to help them see that when they center their lives around Christ they will find joy and peace. They are then able to serve in a way they could not before. They are better husbands, dad's, friends, employees, followers of Christ. They become world changers. I want to be a part of that. Watching God work in their lives brings great joy to my heart.”
And what she felt led to do, “Encourage, strengthen, serve, anticipate needs, help others, do what I can do so they can do what they can do, listen-understand, speak truth in love, make myself available.”
What a calling.
This showed me one of the special things about my mom. She was not just faithful in public, she was also faithful in private. She was a devoted servant to our Lord. She read her Bible every day. She picked a quiet time to read it and would take notes. We have many bibles of hers that are just full of notes and would probably take years to go through them all.
Mom was a good person and tried to help anybody who crossed her path. This led her to becoming a missionary. Mom was chosen not because she was perfect, not because she was good, but because she was faithful. Just like Abraham was chosen because of his faith. My mom was chosen to go across the world and touch people's lives because she was faithful to God and believed His promises. Mom's faith in our Lord was an example to all of us. Without a home, without a car, without many things that people feel they need to have to survive, she was still faithful and the Lord took care of her. Wherever mom went, she was welcomed in as a member of the family. She was sheltered and taken care of by many of us sitting here today. And many of us around the world.
We look at what my mom has done and we all say she did many great things. My mom, however, was just Jan. The Lord used my mom to do many great things. My mom did not boast about what she had accomplished, but she did boast about what the Lord had accomplished through her. Even in this last year during her hardest trial battling cancer, she was taken care of by the Lord and she was the first to testify to that.
And then we come to these last couple of weeks. 2 weeks and half a day. When my mom was in the hospice care for her last days, my brothers and I got to experience so many great people who meant so much to her.
The last night I saw my mom open her eyes was this past Thursday April 14th. And that night I was alone with her for a while and I warned her, I said “Mom I'm going to play Bible roulette”. It was a joke we had about opening up the Bible and picking a verse to read. She was never really fond of that kind of Bible study, but we all did it as kids. So I opened the Bible and came upon Ezra chapter 8 verse 12. It was a story about the return to Jerusalem. I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me what this passage could mean as I read it to my mom.
In this passage there are lot of names and they may not have a whole lot of deep meaning. Then the idea of going to Jerusalem came to me as a journey to heaven and that's what I said to mom. I said, “ Mom you're going to your Jerusalem, your heaven” and along the way, as it says in Ezra, they needed a priest and the priest came. In my eyes I saw that as all the people who came to say goodbye. For those who are in Christ are like priests themselves.
Everyday my mom was on this Earth she was on the road back to Jerusalem, heaven. Everyday we are all on the road back to Heaven. So as you continue on your journey, be faithful, be an example to others, ask the Lord “where can I go for you?” and “what will you have me do?”.
In my family it is an important tradition to say the Lord's Prayer. We say it every night at bedtime. If you would please bow your heads and join me as we say the Lord's prayer.
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Thank you.

Jason's Talk from Jan's Memorial

Shared by Tammy Waite on April 24, 2016

Jason Tarnowski
April 20 at 5:38am ·
My talk from Mom's service yesterday:
Our mother, was an amazing lady. She was involved in so many things while we were growing up that it’s hard to remember everything. Over the past 2 weeks while she was at the Garden’s of Western reserve in Streetsboro, She was still ministering to people she just met as her nurses and aides. It was an honor to tell people who she was and all she had done.
One aide said she understood what we were going through. Her mom had gone through the same situation a few years ago and she also watched her mother die. She talked about how hard it was to watch. As she walked out of the room she said, “all that money you spend on Drs and medicine and she still dies. What’s the use?”
It took me a few minutes to process what she said. She basically said her hope was in the drs and money to help her mom. She couldn't understand why we would do all that if she was going to die anyways?
Today we sit here facing the truth of what will happen to all of us one day. The mortality rate is hovering around 100% so far. This is true no matter how much money you spend or how good the dr is. People are definitely living longer today due to improvements in medicine and and medical breakthroughs, but sooner or later, death is inevitable. What do you place your hope in?
My grandfather and I discussed how much more mom could do if she just had a few more years. Just think what she could have done in 5, 10, or even 20 more years with the passion and desire she held for others. What else could she have accomplished? Who else could she have reached for Jesus? How many more young men could she have had an influence over to be better?
Truthfully, how many years would be enough?
This is the real question to ask: Compared to eternity, how much time is enough?
Mom’s favorite devotional is July 28th from My Utmost for His Highest written by Oswald Chambers.
He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side… —Mark 6:45
We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.
Mom knew that every moment was important and any moment could have a huge impact on eternity for someone.
I am an impatient person and am always more concerned about the end result, the big deal, what the work would produce. Mom was more concerned about what was being produced when the work was being done.
This is why she was always involved in the details from beginning to end, and especially the clean up after (right guys?) My brothers and I have such fond memories of cleaning up after every event we went to. (sarcasm)
Also, mom was way more interested in you than how it affected her. This is why she was so easy to love. She loved you unconditionally and it showed. So the statement from my brothers and I about each one being her favorite has a lot of truth to it. And you are her favorite you. She had no favorites. If she was with you, you were her favorite at that moment.
2 verses come to mind when I think of mom’s legacy:
Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Mom was willing to do whatever God called her to do, and always did it with a compassion for others.
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Mom never made you feel bad or guilty when she talked about the Lord. She talked to you with reason and had an ability to say it perfectly for you to understand and have the opportunity to respond.
When she spoke to you, you were the most important person, but what was more important to her was that you would meet jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. This was her mission, her heart's desire for whomever she met.
Mom made a decision for Jesus as her savior at a young age. Once she did, she never looked back. She passed it on to us boys, and to anyone she met by the love she showed them.
Mom would be extremely upset if this was all about her. We all know how humble she was and how she hated the spotlight. She wanted us to use this time as an opportunity for everyone here to make the same decision as she did, to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Jesus Christ Himself spoke about who He was. What He said has been recorded in the Bible and it's a very challenging statement. It challenges us to make a choice.
We read in John 14 where he was talking with His disciples concerning some troubling realities setting in. They had just finished the passover meal, His last one with them, and they were starting to get upset concerning what Jesus told them about His upcoming death.
John 14:1
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
This statement speaks clearly that Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah. He is saying He is God. In this statement, we are challenged to make a choice: Is He a lunatic, or is He God? There really is no in between since He doesn't give us an out.
He continues with this:
John 14:2-4
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
I believe that mom’s faith allowed her to have a place in Heaven. We are all sure that when she got there, and they showed her her new mansion, she said “That’s ok, I don't need anything that big. I can live in the small house out back, that will suit me fine. Give the big house to someone else who needs it.”
Has your room been prepared? It has if you have also accepted Christ as your Savior. He was pretty clear about that as well. He didn’t beat around the bush and say I am one way to heaven.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Straight up! Now you make the choice: Lunatic or Lord?
Mom chose Him as Lord. Now today is your chance to do the same. If you leave today without placing Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then eternity awaits, but not in Heaven. If jan were standing here today, she would say “Choose Jesus!” And I will say that also, choose Jesus!
Psalm 30:5 says:
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
We will miss Jan here. Her presence has greatly impacted many people all over the world. For those that would say yes to Jesus, the sorrow will be short lived for you can have a hope that rejoicing comes when we will spend eternity in heaven together.
As I close, I say this for my mom: Choose Jesus!