Janet's Story

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Janet Lee Simkins, 82, of South Bend, died at 3:45 p.m. Friday, March 17, 2017, at her residence surrounded by her loving family, following a brief illness.
She was born Dec. 31, 1934, in Anderson, to Mary Elizabeth (Miller) and Chester L. Chambers, and had lived in South Bend since 1959.
She is survived by her daughter, Suzann Snyder (Charles) of Plymouth, Ind.; her sons, Bradley J. Simkins (Sally) of Elkhart, and David L. Simkins of Pasadena, Calif.; grandchildren, Bill, Sean, Jason, Graham, Kristin, Kristina, and Kaley; and great-grandchildren, Austin, Riley, Haley, Kiley, Baylor, Zack, and Katie.
Janet was an only child, much loved by her mother and father. Her early years were spent moving from town to town as her father, a shoe salesman, followed jobs around the midwest. Eventually St. Louis, Mo., became her home leading to her enrollment at the University of Missouri. There she met and married Jay Simkins on Aug. 24, 1954. Their first son, Bradley Jay, was born in the fall of 1955 followed by David Lee in 1959.
By that time Jay had joined Janet's father in the shoe business. Soon after Janet joined Jay and throughout the 1960's the young couple managed The Milady Shop's shoe department in the McKinley Town & Country Shopping Centre in Mishawaka, Ind.
The 1970's saw Janet's transition into real estate. For almost three decades, working with Smith Zeiss Realty, she helped Michiana families find their perfect homes.
As a mother, Janet's support and appreciation for her children was unbounded. In the 1960's her new family was introduced to a young girl in need of a welcoming home. Suzann joined Brad and David in the most loving and accepting environment three kids could have ever hoped for. Her grandkids knew the same affection.
Loyal, loving, tenacious, and determined to make the best life possible for her family, Janet put her loved ones first. She was always there to lead you into the next adventure, to encourage you on your own, and to care for you when you'd fallen.
A Celebration of Janet's life will be shared at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend. The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Memorial contributions in Janet's name may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Lane, Mishawaka, IN, 46545.
Family and friends may leave email condolences at www.welsheimer.com.
Published on March 22, 2017
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