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Janet Simpson Bonder Lovelace, age still a guarded secret, passed away on May 12, 2013, after complications from heart surgery. Janet was born in Irvington, New York to Broadway actor Forbes Simpson and Bertha Alice Simpson. She moved to the Orlando area at the age of two, where she grew up on the family farm with her older brother, Forbes Simpson (later Dr. Simpson) and sister, Patricia Simpson (later Dome). Spending her summers working at an ice cream shop on Long Island, she met and married Walter Bonder at the young age of sixteen.
Janet and Walter soon were blessed with daughters, Cherie, Diane and Kimberly (Kim). Janet owned her own dress shop in Orlando, Playgirl Fashions, for many years, but decided her real talent was as a real estate broker. Janet and Walter opened Bonder & Bonder Realty, and immersed themselves with family, friends, legendary parties and politics. In 1971, Janet and family moved to Dragon Point Drive in south Merritt Island. Soon thereafter, she joined Planning Research Corporation (PRC), serving as the Public Relations Manager during the beginnings of and through many of the Space Shuttle flights. Janet "retired" from PRC in 1986 to run for the state legislature. Many will recall the narrow loss that year, as well the later loss in 1991 by 48 votes. That year, she also lost her husband Walter to cancer in November 1991, after over 40 years of marriage.
Janet decided it was time to "pick more daisies", and began her round the world travels with friends and family; but she still maintained her interest in politics, as well as numerous charities, and her real estate career. Janet welcomed her first grandchild, Eric Hodge, in 1997.
Janet, an active Board member of the Marine Resource Council (MRC), formulated a plan to raise funds for MRC and created the Second Wind Thrift Shop in Indian Harbour Beach in 1997. No one was immune from her efforts to obtain donations and volunteers. Her beloved Indialantic Rotary was a great source of support for Second Wind. Janet and the Rotarian's were often seen at the Second Wind on Wednesday's (after Rotary lunch) and Thursday's. Daughters Cherie and Diane also contributed (and still are) to the success of the Second Wind.
Janet's world changed in 2008 when she met Al Lovelace on her daily walk up Tropical Trial. As Al was getting his mail, Janet approached him with her big smile. Janet and Al became best friends, traveling together and taking care of each other. In September of 2011, Janet and Al married and she had found her second soul mate. She also gained Al's daughter Denise, son Bill (Susanne), and granddaughters Grace and Natalie.
Continuing their world travels, Janet and Al enjoyed many great adventures. Al's place in Highlands, NC, was a favorite spot of theirs, which they shared with Al's family and Janet's daughter and son-in-law (Kim and Paul Rezanka) and their children Dylan and Nicole. Janet never let grass grow under her feet, and will also be remembered as being vibrant and full of life, and usually, great ideas. Her community contributions are too numerous to mention, but all that knew Janet will remember her constant involvement in "everything."
Janet's death came as a shock to all of us. She was taken too soon. As she was known to say, "I never promised you that life would be easy or fair". How true that is!
Janet was predeceased by her mother, father, sister, brother and first husband Walter. She is survived by her husband, Al; daughters, Cherie, Diane and Kim (Paul); step-daughter, Denise; stepson, Bill (Susanne); great-grandson, Gunner Duke Hodge; grandchildren, Eric (Christy), Dylan, Nicole, Grace and Natalie; nephews, Randy and Chuck (Donna); and nieces, Carol, Kathleen and Tiffany.
A Funeral Service to celebrate Janet's life will be held on Saturday, May 18th, 10:00 a.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 3050 Holy Name Way, Indialantic, FL. It will be followed by a reception at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club, 100 Datura Blvd., Indian Harbour Beach, FL. The family hopes you will join us in remembering all the good times we shared with Janet.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Marine Resource Council of East Central Florida, 3275 Dixie Hwy NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905, or a
Anyone wishing to send the family a message, share a story or make a donation, can do so by visiting Janet's memorial page at www.beachfuneralhome.com.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from May 16 to May 18, 2013