Janet Fearon

Obituary of Janet Fearon

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Janet Adams Fearon, 74, of Princeton, New Jersey, died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on January 17, 2014. Mrs. Fearon was born January 27, 1939 to Margaret Baker Adams and the Reverend Doctor Arthur Merrihew Adams. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, the Reverend Doctor H. Dana Fearon, III, their children Prof. James D. Fearon (Teal Derrer) and Mrs. Mary Fearon Jack (Wellborn Jack, III), and her five grandchildren, Benjamin and Sadie Fearon, and William, Spencer, and Sarah Jack. Her brother, the Reverend Doctor Robert Merrihew Adams lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife, the Reverend Doctor Marilyn McCord Adams. In her early years Mrs. Fearon lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Albany and Rochester, New York. She graduated from Columbia School for Girls in 1956 and enrolled at Wellesley College, where she majored in history. After graduating in 1960, she moved, as a new bride, to Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where her husband was installed as the minister of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. Her contributions to that church were legion. She involved herself in numerous bible study groups, served as a Sunday school and vacation bible school teacher for many years, sang in the choir, and was a member of "Create and Relate." She was a valued member of the church's Women's Association, where she established many meaningful lifelong friendships. She took on many projects including developing affordable daycare and housing for low income families in Lawrence Township, creating a memorial garden at the Church, and redesigning meeting rooms, kitchens, and offices. A natural architect, she particularly enjoyed serving on planning committees for the buildings and grounds. Her ability to translate ideas into concrete building plans while maintaining the historical integrity of the buildings was greatly appreciated. Mrs. Fearon believed passionately in the importance of education. She helped found the Church's weekday nursery school and taught there for thirteen years. In 1979, she began a career in Princeton as the founding director of the Charlotte Wilson Newcombe Foundation, whose grants have funded programs of scholarship and fellowship support for many thousands of college and university students. Mrs. Fearon found lasting satisfaction in the Foundation's mission of supporting a college education for young women and men who would otherwise would not be able to afford one. She led the Foundation until her retirement in 2007, and served as founding trustee until her death. A long time member of the Women's Club of Lawrenceville, Mrs. Fearon served as president of the Club and as chair of the Mary Darwin Heath Scholarship committee. She was an active member and leader of the Wellesley Club of Princeton, and for many years dedicated her time to the Wellesley-Bryn Mawr Book Sale. Known for her cheerful friendliness and hospitality, Mrs. Fearon delighted in meeting and getting to know people. She reached out to all, providing a listening ear and perceptive insight. Her kind understanding, gentle manner, and eagerness to help others came through in both brief encounters and lengthy discussions. She possessed an unfailingly positive outlook and when faced with adversity, readily found productive solutions. Her generosity of spirit and graciousness were strong, true, and deep. A woman of abundant energy, Mrs. Fearon loved a challenge, whether it was a design project or the creation of a foundation. She had a remarkable intellect and curious mind. She read avidly, with a passion for history. For several decades Mrs. Fearon spent part of the summer in Big Moose Lake, New York. She loved the Adirondack mountains, lakes and landscape. She enjoyed canoeing and boating on Big Moose Lake and walking its trails; here she found herself truly relaxed and with full heart. In her later years, she enjoyed summer vacations in Hyannis Port and West Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. These were highlighted by wonderful visits of family and friends. In her spare time she enjoyed playing tennis, golf, and Mah-Jong with a group of longtime friends. Mrs. Fearon often said that she felt blessed to have lived a life filled with love, kindness, faith, dear friends, meaningful work, and a close, loving family. She adored her children and grandchildren, and she delighted in an enduring, happy, and loving marriage to her greatest friend and champion. She will be dearly missed by many. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, February 1st at 11 o'clock in the morning at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Fearon Fund at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
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