Janet Gerstler, of Niles

Janet E. Gerstler, 75, of Niles, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at Spectrum Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

She was born on March 24, 1944, in Newport, Wales, United Kingdom, to the late Reginald G. and Elsie A. (Dunning) Thomas.

Janet first attended Madonna College where she received her bachelors in education, and then received her masters of science in education at IUSB.

She taught special education for more than 23 years at both Eastside and Ballard Schools in Niles.

Janet Gerstler

Janet was passionate about the students she taught, referring to them often as “her kids.” Having a servant’s heart led Janet to educate herself in sign language and interpret for the deaf in many different capacities. Janet was a member of the Niles Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher’s Society, holding several offices through the years including president of the society the last two years.

Janet has enjoyed traveling and time spent reading. She is adored by those that called her “Nanny,” and her children and grandchildren were her most cherished accomplishments.

On Dec. 7, 1963, Janet wed the love of her lifetime, David P. Gerstler, at a ceremony in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Together they raised a family, traveled together and continued to fall deeper in love.

Janet is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, David P. Gerstler, of Niles; her children, Denise (Nettie) Gerstler, of Rocky Mount, Virginia, Michael (Cheryl) Gerstler, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Dr. Steven (Marcie) Gerstler, of Granger; six grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; her brother, Reginald (Margo) Thomas, of Poinciana, Florida; and her sister, Christine Bowman, of Brimley, Michigan.

A memorial service to celebrate Janet’s life will be at noon with a time of visitation one hour prior on Saturday, Oct, 19, 2019, at Brown Funeral Home in Niles.

In keeping with Janet’s love for children and her hard-fought battle with cancer, those wishing to make a memorial donation in honor of Janet are asked to consider St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.

Memories and condolences may be left for her family at BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Niles.

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