Janis Helen Andrews (Berry) was born on October 7th, 1933 to Ralph and Helen Andrews of Jackson, Michigan. She graduated in 1951 from Jackson High School, and attended Jackson Community College, transfering to Michigan State College and graduating in 1955 with a degree in Music and Literature. She was active in the drama club and vocal activities and had a professional caliber singing voice that she put to use occasionally standing in as a lead singer with several area swing and jazz bands.
On June 17th of 1955, she married Lathrop F. Berry Jr., also of Jackson, MI and they honeymooned in Northern Michigan. Lathrop was beginning his medical residency, having just graduated from The University of Michigan Medical School. On July 3rd, 1957, Janis and Lathrop (Lay) celebrated the birth of Douglas Stewart Berry, their first born child. John Fielding Berry, a second son, arrived on January 17th, 1960 - and shortly thereafter, the family moved to Defiance, OH where Lay set up his practice and helped found The Defiance Clinic. Susan Ann Berry, was born on December 20th, 1961, completing the Berry family. Jan had nicknames for nearly everyone, and her children were soon called "Rugs" (Doug), "Slats" (John), and "Suz" (Susan).
Jan was active in volunteer activities, and also continued her vocal and drama work, playing a part in the "Red Stocking Review" and also performing with Lay and Jerry Bull as part of a three piece group (Lay on the drums and Jerry on the piano). They typically performed in her living room and recorded songs just for fun. A recording of two of her songs can be found here in the Lifetime Lookback gallery section at the end of "The Early Years" photo collection.
Jan died suddenly on July 21st, 1975 and is missed by her children every day. She was a talented singer, loving Mother and possessed a spirit that still shines today.
Please post a message to the family describing your memories of Jan. They will be shared and are much appreciated...
(Bio information compiled and written by John Berry - 6/2012)