Janet Emma Martin Knall Bennett
Janet Knall Bennett died February 7, 2013, in Indianapolis following a lengthy illness. She was born in Chicago on April 3, 1919, the daughter of Janet and Wells Martin Sr. After graduating from the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago, she attended Sweetbriar College and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.
Janet and Wilson Victor Knall were married in 1941, and were parents of six children. Janet was a devoted wife and mother, a true lady who delighted in her large family. When her triplet daughters were born in 1952, she discovered her passion as a caregiver, and dedicated herself to creating a full and rewarding life for daughter Kyle, who was blind at birth. Janet used her special understanding to teach visually handicapped children for more than 20 years, and became a leader in promoting education for the visually handicapped in the East Chicago Public Schools and in Indianapolis.
Committed to providing a solid foundation in life for all her children, Janet nurtured the educational goals of each. Following her husband's unexpected death in 1965, Janet moved to Bloomington, Ind., where the younger children attended University High School, while the older children studied at Indiana University. There, too, Janet earned her master's degree. Sadly, Kyle died in Bloomington in 1967 at age 15, but her mother continued teaching children in Bloomington and later in the Indianapolis Public Schools.
Janet's iron will was evidenced when the U.S. Surgeon General's report on the dangers of smoking was released in 1964. From that day forward, Janet never smoked another cigarette.
She was a strong and vibrant woman, with a wonderful sense of humor and a talent for satire. Her kindness extended well beyond her immediate family.
Janet's generous and loving spirit continued through her 32â€year second marriage, which ended with the death of her husband Charles Helm Bennett in 2011.
Janet is survived by her brother, Wells Martin, Jr. in Naples, Fla.; and five of her children, David Wells Knall (Anne), Kristina Ward Leonard, Janet Wilson Knall, and Mary Wells Sans (Dr. Ronald), all of Indianapolis; and Edith Ward Tang (Dr. James), Walnut, Calif. Surviving grandchildren are Wade Knall, Aspen, Colo.; Libby Knall Oriani and Michael James Tang of San Francisco, Calif.; David Martin Leonard, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and James Knall, Eddie Sans, and Ellen Caroline Leonard, all of Indianapolis. Greatâ€grandchildren, Sophia Ruth, Andrew Carl, Benjamin Kyle Leonard; and Lucy Wade and Maxwell David Oriani also survive.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at Trinity Episcopal Church, where Janet was an active parishioner and former member of the Vestry. Contributions in memory of Janet may be directed to The Julian Center, 2011 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 or to a
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