Janet Louise Kelly Irey
April 05, 1922 ‒ January 05, 2014
MANSFIELD: Janet Louise Kelly Irey, 91, passed away on Sunday, January 5, 2014. She was our mother, grandmother, aunt, mentor, public relations specialist and dear friend. For all of us whose lives she touched, we are truly blessed.
Born in Mansfield, Ohio on April 5, 1922, daughter of Frederick S. and Mary Louise (Frederick) Kelly, she grew up in the First Presbyterian Church.
Janet attended Mansfield Schools and was graduated from Mansfield Senior High in January, 1940, later becoming the Class Alumni Secretary. The class actively celebrated their reunion every 5 years and she kept track of everybody’s address and enjoyed talking to classmates throughout the years.
After attending Miami University of Ohio, she began work at the former Richland Trust Company and later became Manager of the original Public Relations Department. She was elected Assistant Treasurer and eventually Assistant Secretary and the first woman Bank Officer of Richland County. As a hobby, Janet researched the hospitality significance of the pineapple in architecture and furnishings. She presented a program to local clubs on the topic for 20 years.
She loved her church and community. A lifelong active member of the First Presbyterian Church since 1935, she served as Deaconess and Elder. Janet was active in many groups: American Association of University Women, Miami University Alumni Association, Chi Omega Sorority Alumni, Mansfield Women’s Club, P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter AT, Child Study Club, Jared Mansfield Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ladies’ Shrine Club, Presbyterian Women’s Association, Mansfield Federation of Women, and served 10 years as chairman of the Presbyterian Super Seniors.
As a concerned citizen, Janet was a member of the Richland County Historical Society, Richland County Museum, served on the Regional Mansfield Historic Review Commission, was a Presiding Judge at the Richland County Poll 3-K for years, and served on the MedCentral Mansfield Hospice Board.
She met her husband, J. Glenn Irey through mutual friends and they were married on his birthday, November 27, 1954. She always said, “Happiness is being married to your best friend.” At the death of her sister, Jean Kelly Tharp, in October 1955, Janet and Glenn stayed in Mansfield to help C. Frederic Tharp, Jr. raise his two children, Rick and Kelly Ann. Janet was a devoted mother and very proud of their two children, Donald (born 1959) and Marilyn (born 1961), who rounded out their family just like their favorite song: “Tea for Two… two for tea… a boy for you, a girl for me!”
Janet was selected as an extra for the Shawshank Redemption movie filmed in Mansfield in 1993 at the old Reformatory. She can be seen sitting in front of Morgan Freeman on his bus ride leaving prison. Janet thoroughly enjoyed her connection to the movie and had the most fun when people recognized her from her role in the movie. She attended the 15th Shawshank reunion in 2008, and the 20th reunion in 2013 where she could reconnect with fellow cast members.
She was preceded in death by her husband, J. Glenn Irey in July 1999 and her sister, Jean Kelly Tharp in 1955. Survivors include her son and daughter in-law, Donald and Michelle Irey of Orlando, FL. Her daughter and son in-law, Marilyn and Denny Burchett of Medway, OH. Her beloved two grandchildren Cassina Irey Morales and her husband Anthony of Orlando and John Burchett of Medway. Janet’s niece, Kelly Ann Tharp of Mansfield and her daughter Jennifer Sutter of Toledo, and cousin Katherine Hartman Macy of Long Island, NY and numerous cousins and in-law nephews and nieces.
The last 3 years were challenging to her physically. She spent time for re-hab at the Winchester Terrace Nursing Home and the Wedgewood Estates Assisted Living Community. Her family wishes to extend special thanks to all the nurses and staff at Wedgewood Estates for taking care of Janet and meeting all her needs. Janet truly enjoyed their music programs.
Friends may call Tuesday, January 7, 2014 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where the DAR will hold a service at 7:30 p.m. Burial will be held privately in Mansfield Cemetery and according to her wishes she will be buried in her wedding gown from 1954.
A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 11 a.m. at the Mansfield First Presbyterian Church, 399 South Trimble Road at Millsboro in Mansfield. The Rev. Dr. William Martin will officiate and the family will greet friends at a luncheon reception following the service.
The family invites you to make a contribution in her honor to First Presbyterian Church or MedCentral Hospice and may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Janet’s family and private messages of condolence to them may be made at: SnyderFuneralHomes.com