Obituary: Janice (Putnam) Lazarus, 87

Janice E. (Putnam) Lazarus, 87, died peacefully of natural causes on March 18, 2024, at RiverCourt Residences in Groton, Massachusetts. She was the loving and devoted wife of the late Arthur Lazarus Jr. who passed away in 2017 after fifty-nine years of marriage. She and Art were long-time residents of Littleton, Massachusetts.  

Jan is survived by sister Sandra Brown; brother Dana Putnam; daughters Elaine Lazarus (Ronald Hettich), Margery Lazarus, and Diane Lazarus; and grandchildren Madeleine Hettich, Cameron Hettich, Natalie Berger, and Sylvia Berger. Along with her husband Arthur, she is also predeceased by her parents, sister Shirley, brothers Norman and Bruce, and beloved uncle Stacy.

Jan was born in April 1936 to Harold and Virginia (Merrill) Putnam. She was raised in Reading, Massachusetts, and Thomaston, Maine. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1958 from the University of Maine, Orono. Jan and Art married in 1958 and soon started their family. They lived in Machias, Maine, until 1961, when they moved to Raynham, Massachusetts. Jan and Art lived and raised their family in Raynham for twenty-four years. Jan was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Raynham and sang in the church choir. She was also a Girl Scout Leader for several years.  

Jan and Art moved to Littleton, Massachusetts, in 1985, and Jan quickly became an integral and active member of the Congregational Church of Littleton and sang in the church choir.

Jan combined child rearing and her career until retirement. Her career included substitute teaching and tutoring in the Raynham school system for approximately ten years, accounting and administrative support for a travel agency in Acton for several years, and a library assistant at the Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton for approximately ten years.  

Jan was a dedicated genealogist, meticulously researching records in town halls, archives, and cemeteries. She extensively traced and mapped both her and her husband’s ancestry.

Jan loved to travel and enjoyed trips to England, Scotland, Bermuda, Norway, New Zealand, and Alaska. She traveled throughout the country, especially New England, California, Minnesota, and the Pacific Northwest.  

Jan enjoyed making mincemeat, jams and jellies, bread & butter pickles, cookies, and bars. She loved to teach her grandchildren about nature and baking. Jan was an avid reader and continued to listen to books after she lost her eyesight. She treasured reading with her grandchildren and passing on her love of reading.  

In both work and life, Jan was the epitome of kindness and graciousness. She was kind to all people. Jan often said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” She was warm and welcoming to all.

A private family ceremony was held at the Congregational Church of Littleton.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  

Expressions of sympathy may be made in Jan’s name to Reuben Hoar Library, WGBH, or Massachusetts Audubon Society.

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