Janice Singer Jankowsky
Janice Singer Jankowsky
  • August 5, 1935 - June 24, 2017
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Janice Singer Jankowsky, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend died on June 24 in Oklahoma City. She was 81 years old. Janice Sylvia Yarchin was born on August 5, 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts to Abraham and Goldie Yarchin. She graduated from Brookline High School, Mt. Ida Junior College and the Hickox Secretarial School. Janice worked briefly in retail and for her father's insurance business. She met Oklahoma native Joe L. Singer on a blind date in 1956 when she was in town to visit a girlfriend from Boston. Within months he had proposed, and they were married in December 1957. After a honeymoon in Jamaica, Janice quickly adapted to life in the Southwest, where she raised three children. Despite living in the Sooner state for 60 years, Janice never lost her Boston accent. After Joe Singer's death in 2004, she met another great Oklahoma native named Joe. She had actually crossed paths with Joseph S. Jankowsky of Tulsa 50 years earlier when both were traveling in Europe. Janice had kept the diary that mentioned meeting a group of Jewish boys who went to the University of Michigan. Jan, as he is known, had kept his address book with her contact information. They were married in 2005. Janice was a petite fireball who rarely slowed down or sat still. She was happy traveling around the world discovering new places -- and new stores. She was just as happy driving to obscure towns in rural Oklahoma for lunch or to search for antique quilts. She was a loyal customer, once even buying watches from two competing businesses so as not to offend either one. She always loved taking her grandchildren shopping. They knew immediately by the look on her face if she approved of the item they wanted. Janice was also a loyal and trusted confidante. Friends and family frequently sought her advice. Doing the right thing was very important to her - and she always knew what the right thing was. Janice was actively involved in community work with Emanuel Synagogue and other Jewish organizations. She excelled in behind-the-scenes leadership roles. For several years, she co-chaired the "200 Club" fundraiser and gala with Joe, Ben and Shirley Shanker and Betsy and Al Braver. She advised or helped run numerous other fundraisers, including the Israeli Festival. In recent years she sat on the board of the Oklahoma City Jewish Foundation. She also made a mean chopped liver, which was the centerpiece of many synagogue events. One of her greatest pleasures was cooking for family and friends. Preparing food and enjoying it were central to Janice's life, and she knew everyone's favorite foods. Her grandchildren looked forward eagerly to dinner at her house, especially when dessert included her special ginger cream cookies. She always had bowls and jars of candy at home. Although it occasionally caused consternation for her children, who had to constantly say "no more" to both themselves and her grandkids, she would never agree to hide the candy, even for a short while. Janice was devoted to her friends and family. She especially adored Jan, cherished their trips together and grew to trust and admire his ability to pick out good hotels and travel destinations. They were true soul mates and loved being together. Janice is survived by her husband, Jan; her children, Amy Singer and husband Richard Einhorn of New York City, Kenedy Singer of Santa Barbara, and David Singer of Oklahoma City; stepsons Jeff Jankowsky of Castle Rock, Colorado and Craig Jankowsky and wife Shari of Austin, Texas; and nine grandchildren. Donations may be made to Emanuel Synagogue, the Oklahoma City Jewish Federation or City Rescue Mission.