MANCHESTER - Janet (Grueter) Williamson, 66, of Manchester died Wednesday, November 7, 2012 surrounded by her loving family after a courageous 11 month battle with lung cancer.
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She was born in Belmont, Mass., January 21, 1946, the daughter of Carroll and Grace (Connors) Grueter. She moved to the Manchester area at a young age and graduated from St. Joseph High School for Girls. She earned her associate's degree from NH College.
As a 1988 graduate of the very first Institute on Disability NH Leadership Series, Janet led the way ensuring that individuals with disabilities were welcomed and valued as respected, contributing members of their communities. She then worked with the Leadership Series for over 20 years as a mentor, teacher, trainer, and leader in the design of self-directed services and supports and the creation of communities that welcome everyone. She was well known for inspiring families when she and her son Jeff presented the topic of "The Good Life" and as a result hundreds of families throughout New Hampshire credit Janet for opening their minds to new possibilities and creating a good life for New Hampshire citizens with disabilities and their families. A recent graduate of the Series said "Janet's spirit will live on in all of us, as she helped mold us into the leaders that we are today-to carry on for her."
She was a past board member of the Moore Center and volunteered much of her time with the Special Olympics.
Janet loved to spend time with her family and many friends at the beach and will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister who will be dearly missed.
Family members include her husband of 46 years Lance Williamson of Manchester; three sons, Jeffrey Williamson of Manchester, Ryan Williamson and wife Kaleigh of Frisco, Texas, and David Williamson of Manchester; one grandson, Logan Williamson of Frisco, Texas; her siblings, Marilyn Hingston of Manchester, Madelyn Paledino of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., Arthur Grueter of Manchester, Barbara Bridges of Wolfeboro, John Grueter and wife Bonnie of Panama City, Fla., Ellie Chapman and husband Bob of Weare; many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
She was predeceased by her sister Sally Martel.
Calling hours will be held Sunday, November 11, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St, corner of North St.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday, November 12, at 9 a.m., in St. Catherine of Siena Church, Webster Street.
Burial will take place Tuesday, November 13, at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery at a time to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to support the Leadership Series she so deeply cared for. Please send contributions to The NH Leadership Series Institute on Disability / UCED Attention Mary Schuh, 56 Old Suncook Road, Suite 2 Concord, NH 03301 or visit www.iod.unh.edu.
To sign an online register book, please go to www.lambertfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Nov. 10, 2012