Janice Ann (Chandler) Woodard, 84, of Wilton, NH, died Thursday February 20, 2020, at Westwood Center in Keene, NH. She was born in West Fairlee, VT on January 17, 1936, a daughter of Merrill and Catherine (Tullar) Chandler. Janice graduated from Bradford, VT Academy in 1954 and Lyndon State Teacher’s College in 1956.
Janice was the owner of Pixie Preschool in Londonderry, NH from 1969 to 2010 with the original school in her home on Kendall Pond Road. Pixie Preschool II opened on Buttrick Rd as her second location in the early 80s and at the height of enrollment, Pixie Preschool educated as many as 450 2, 3, 4- and 5-year old’s a year for a number of years. In the later years, Pixie Preschool’s enrollment included children of students from the earliest years in business. If you grew up in Londonderry, there’s a great chance you were a “Pixie”!
For about 5 years in the mid-1980s, Jan owned and operated 101 Beauty Salon in Bedford, NH. She and her daughter, Susan, owned and operated an antique store in North Londonderry in the mid to late 1990s. If ever asked about why she opened these businesses in addition to her thriving preschools, she would say she didn’t want to be bored!
Also in the 90’s (and into the early 2010s), Jan started attending the Londonderry Senior Center – which had just been established. With a handful of other seniors at the newly established center, Jan helped develop programs and senior center projects for social times, fitness, fundraising, a successful annual fall craft fair, bake sales at Mack’s, informational sessions, daily activity schedules and participated in the Red Hats. Winning at Dominos was Jan’s special talent and there weren’t many seniors, family members or friends that could beat her. She loved playing each week with the seniors as well as with family when everyone gathered for holidays.
If you knew Jan, you know she was a collector. Her early collections included pitchers – glass, ceramic, wood – of all sizes. She collected them from vacation spots: Bahamas, Key West, Puerto Rico, tourist spots in Maine, NH and VT – as well as antique pitchers from antique shops. She incorporated antique shop stops wherever she went and developed a taste for oak furniture, things with strawberries and wall pockets (and for her kitchen – strawberry wall pockets). Jan also had linens, tablecloths, placemats and napkins for every holiday. Her good friend, Virginia made her gorgeous table runners for almost every season.
If you ever visited Jan’s home, you know she collected pixies – NEVER fairies or elves!! She had china cabinets and glass display cases throughout her house for her pixie collection – she had one for blue pixies, one for green ones and of course – more than one for RED ones! The pixie head cookie jars were the focal point of her living room mantle, not a sight easily forgotten!
Christmas was always a special holiday for Jan; she started decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving each year and every surface was transformed into something festive, sparkly and lit with lights. For many years in the mid and late 90’s, Jan, Susan and Sarah hosted a fun Holiday Open House, where almost 100 guests each year would stop by for a drink and snack – it was the highlight of many friends’ holiday visiting. No one ever left hungry or thirsty!
Jan loved visiting her two sisters, Cathy and Becky, and brother, Jay and his family in Vermont, and her brother, Paul’s family in NY. She enjoyed a special bond with her niece Amelia (her sister, Cathy’s, daughter), and they enjoyed many adventures during school vacations and many summers.
She is survived by two daughters, Susan Janice Rudinsky of Mont Vernon, NH and Sarah Faith White of Wilton, NH; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; brother, Paul Chandler of Verona, NY; two sisters, Rebecca Chandler of Montpelier, VT and Catherine Chandler of Montpelier, VT and several nieces and nephews. Janice is predeceased by her brother Jay Chandler of Richmond, VT.
Following cremation, calling hours will be held on Saturday, March 7 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM in the Peabody Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Rd., Londonderry, NH. A Memorial service will follow at 2:30 in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Londonderry Senior Center, 535 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH 03053 – checks made payable to the Town of Londonderry or the Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.