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Janice Fontana

Janice Fontana Obituary

Janice Fontana, 63, of Hazleton passed away unexpectedly early Sunday morning at her residence.

Born in Plainfield, N.J., she was the daughter of the late Joan (Borden) Fontana and Anthony Fontana.

Joan and her daughters relocated to Hazleton, where Janice and her sisters were raised in a loving home and she became a lifelong resident of the area.

She was a graduate of Bishop Hafey, Class of 1975. After graduation, she began her career in the dietary department of Hazleton General Hospital and was employed in food management for 44 years. The hospital became part of the Greater Hazleton Health Alliance and is now Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Janice enjoyed her work. She was known to the staff and all the employees of the hospital as kind and jolly. Always with a smile on her face, she greeted everyone by name and an affectionate, "Hiya, how are ya?" She had a great sense of humor and raised everyone's spirits. The hospital was her second family. She was well respected by the entire staff of the hospital. Many of her coworkers referred to her as their "therapist." She was always willing to listen to their problems and they left lunch feeling better because of her advice.

Janice took great pride in being awarded employee of the month.

The most important thing to Janice was family. For many years, she was the primary caregiver to her mom, who had Alzheimer's. She would finish work each day and then tirelessly care for her mom with compassion and love until her death in 2019. The family homestead was always open to family and friends. She was proud to be raised in the southside of town and maintained many lifelong friendships in the neighborhood. She had a laid back personality, making everyone feeling welcome, and she would often greet everyone who entered from the recliner in the living room.

Her greatest joy was spending time with her nieces and nephews, who affectionately called her "Aunt Jan" or "Janabanana". Growing up, they would arrive at the homestead where she would buy takeout food, rent Blockbuster videos and finish the night with chocolate ice cream cones. She indulged her nieces, nephews and great-nephews and niece with whatever made them happy. There was no sacrifice too great for "her kids."

Janice loved animals. Over the years, her home was filled with numerous felines and backyard birdfeeders to attract a variety of birds. Most important were her dogs, Shanna and Zane.

Traveling was one of her favorite activities. At a moment's notice, she would travel to Florida to spend time with family or go on any road trip.

Having devout faith in God, she was a member of Annunciation Parish, Church of St. Gabriel. She had a devotion to the Blessed Mother and recited the Rosary daily and also prayed daily to Padre Pio. She lived her faith, giving back to others.

Janice will live in many hearts and be remembered for her kindness and generosity. She is reunited with those she loved and her mom welcomed her to the eternal Kingdom of God and she will live in joy and happiness.

Preceding in death were her parents, Joan Fontana and Anthony Fontana.

Surviving are her loving and devoted family, Patrice Saullo and husband, Robert, Mechanicsville, Va.; and Denise Rogan, Mechanicsville, Va.; and her cherished nieces and nephews, Micki Diana; Melia Diana Laveri and husband, John; Sean Rogan and wife, Missy; Michael Stanley and wife, Jenn; and Matthew Stanley. Also surviving are treasured great-nephews and niece, Kaleb Wilfert, John Robert Stanley and Emma Jean Stanley.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, at a future date a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Annunciation Parish, Church of St. Gabriel, and interment will follow in the parish cemetery. There will be an announcement in the Standard-Speaker of the date and time of services.

Arrangements are under the direction of Joseph B. Conahan Funeral Home Inc., 532 N. Vine St., Hazleton.

To leave a sympathy message, please visit our website at www.conahanfuneralhome.com.

Donations in memory of Janice may be made to the Hazleton Animal Shelter, 101 N. Poplar St., Hazleton; or , 225 N. Michigan Ave., fl. 17, Chicago, IL, 60601.


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