Janice Kathryn Schafir

08/03/1936 - 03/10/2022


Obituary For Janice Kathryn Schafir

Janice K. Schafir, born August 3rd, 1936, passed away on March 10, 2022, at home, where she wanted to be, with her children and in-laws at her side.

She was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, where she became a nurse, converted to Judaism, and married Michael Schafir with whom she had four children. She was an early member of Temple Beth Torah in Fremont where she often played the organ for services and celebrations. Jan spent a long life creating love as a mom, grandmother, aunt, and artist, and by caring for others as a volunteer for hospice, the Red Cross, and numerous art events and organizations. She studied with several famous painters and then shared her artistic talent by teaching at Jan's Art Studio, Yosemite, and on cruise ships around the world. Her own paintings record the natural beauty she found in her back yard as well as on her extensive travels. Many local artists credit Jan as a primary inspiration and role model. She helped to found what is now the Fremont Art & Wine Festival, one of several ways she helped artists show and promote their artwork in the area.

Jan remained active in her later years – painting, making lace, and playing music – but always found energy for her grandchildren’s milestone celebrations. She was a caregiver who gave more to this world than she took. She invited many into her home who needed a good friend or a place to live.

Like each painting is unique, every person who knew Jan will have a different story about how she touched their life. If you followed her example, were touched by her grace, or own some of her art, then you are reminded daily of that happy, ever-present smile. She had a rare kindness, and no canvas is large enough to capture all of her light. We thank her for bringing color into our world and teaching us to find the beauty in all that surrounds us.

She is survived by children Michael J. Schafir, Alex Schafir (Jessie Mindlin), Karoline Schafir Brock (Mitch), Paulette Schafir, seven grandchildren (Rachel, Michael, Daniel, Reuben, Levi, Abby, and Zoey), and long time partner Jules Goldberg. She will be missed and forever loved.

Remembrances may be made to Temple Beth Torah in Fremont or the Olive Hyde Art Guild.

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  • 10/22/2023

    Jan was my neighbor and landlord, my family and are grateful for the 13 years she blessed us with a safe place to call home. We welcomed our first and only baby son a year before she passed. We announced it by letting her know we needed to add someone to the lease lol. She was so happy for us and gifted him a bassi ett/glider. We called her Jan~ma. She has been gone over a year and is missed dearly by our little family. We also miss walking in her garden, it's where my baby practiced and mastered how to walk. Love you, Jan! Angela- Joe and baby Joey

  • 10/06/2022

    Jan was my neighbor. I am so sorry to hear she has passed. My cats have enjoyed her garden for many years, which she was OK with. I hope her home and backyard will stay the same. It is like the secret garden and beautiful. I always wanted to take a painting class, but never had a chance. She will be greatly missed by the community. Rest in peace Jan.

  • 04/14/2022

    Bless you, Jan. You enriched so many lives with your love of art. How do we ever replace such a beautiful person as you?

  • 03/27/2022

    Jan was a mentor to me, not only as her art student (my technique resembles hers) but as a friend and life coach. I looked forward to our Saturday morning art classes for many years, her positive reinforcements, life lessons, casual sass and Kirkland coffee. We flew together to an art school in Italy were Jan was the instructor. She was constantly sketching, so often that I asked her if I took the ink pen out of her hand, would she stop breathing? She laughed and agreed with the assessment. Those art classes saw me through a divorce, and I was happy to be able to introduce Jan to my future fiance at one of her art shows a couple of years ago. She was so happy for me. Jan, I will always have you in my heart. My very deep condolences to her beloved family for the giant hole she will leave in your heart.

  • 03/26/2022

    How fortunate I get to call you my Momma! A most generous, talented, kind and loving mother. I will miss and remember you daily. Thank you for everything. Love, Polly

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