Loving Sister, Mother, Educator and Friend
Introduction - Janet was too busy living life to sit down and write her own story. We can only imagine that if she did, she would have written her thoughts very late at night as she was a night owl. She would have had a dish of jelly beans, homemade fudge or her sister`s praline candies by her side as she began to tell her story. She would have created a rough draft in shorthand and then rewrote it in her beautiful cursive handwriting gracing the lined school paper with eloquent words. Being a perfectionist, perhaps she would have taken out her typewriter and typed out her thoughts making sure she proofread everything twice. We will never know as she passed away on Monday, May 3, 2021 at the young age of 84. Janet Eleanor (Murray) always said "life has been an incredible journey and I try to live each day to the fullest."
Chapter One - The Early Years - She was born at the Charles Choate Memorial Hospital, Woburn, MA on a cold winter morning on December 27, 1936 to Eleanor Margaret (Daw) and Charles Thomas Murray. She was a devoted daughter and was blessed with a sister and wonderful parents. She grew up on Cleveland Avenue in Woburn and attended the Wyman Grammar School in Woburn, where she met some of her dearest, lifelong friends that she has had for over 75 years. Her family later moved to the home her father built on Beach Street in Woburn. She was a true Woburnite, as she lived here her entire life like the generations of her family before her had.
Chapter Two – Education - Janet attended Woburn Junior High School and then Woburn Senior High School, the same high school that both of her parents graduated from in 1933. She was a proud graduate of the Class of 1954. Her favorite memories from high school included attending the "Y` dances, dancing at the Totem Pole Ballroom, hanging out at the Town Line Restaurant, going to Hampton Beach, working as a playground instructor and being with her friends. While in high school she was cheerleader, athlete, Tanner News editor and high scholastic honor student. Known as "Jan" to her friends, she was an ambitious student who graduated fourth in her class and expressed her love for school in this statement "my years at Woburn High School were the best years of my life for fun, friendships and a great education that allowed many of us to attend college. I belonged to many activities and especially enjoyed being a cheerleader. Many friendships were formed in grammar school and carried through to high school. It makes one realize that the old saying "make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold" is really worth believing. How delightful it is to have known someone since you were five years old because of your school days. It is remarkable today, when I tell strangers how we have retained our high school friendship for over sixty-five years. For us diehards, Woburn High will always be home." Her Innitou yearbook profile listed her as faultless, well dressed and ambitious. Words that everyone would still agree held true to her for her entire life. As she always had a bright smile, beautiful color pastel clothes, matching shoes, jewelry and a fun spirit. Janet continued her education at her beloved Emmanuel College in Boston and graduated with a Bachelor of Business of Science degree in 1958. In 1989, received her Master`s Degree in Business Administration from Cambridge College in Boston as well.
Chapter three – Friendships- One of Janet`s greatest qualities was her gift of making friends. She cherished friendships and valued the importance of each and every one from high school, college, teaching or travel friends. She always had friends to share every occasion with. She always said "it is important to have many types of friends." Friends that like to travel, go to dinner, chat on the phone late at night, watch Ms. America or Law and Order with, or just enjoy a good laugh, cry or story with." Her friends always shared the same words to describe her, "Janet was a perfectionist, genuine, always there for me, loyal, trusting, honest and sincere."
Chapter Four – " I touch the future, I teach" - At the tender age of twenty-two, she started teaching at her alma mater, dear old Woburn Senior High School in the business education department. She enjoyed working with a wonderful group of people who became friends. She was a respected and a beloved educator who inspired generations of students in her shorthand, typing and computer classes. She also taught night school for many years to adults. As a teacher, you sometimes wonder how many students in your teaching career have been influenced by you. A former student once said "Thank God for Mrs. Bruno, because I know how to type because of her." Her enthusiasm and hard work lead her to become Class Advisor, where she enjoyed organizing dances, fundraisers and proms. She chaperoned students on the trips to Europe during a school vacation. Students dedicated the yearbook to Mrs. Bruno in 1989 stating "you have worked untiringly and diligently to see that our educational and social experience has conveyed to the class a spirit of optimism and good humor." In 1993, Janet became chairperson of the business department where she continued to use her organization skills to enhance the school. Her work friends expressed that "Mrs. Bruno was such a wonderful lady, a legend, one that was full of life and a hot ticket." She was known to butterfly around the room helping students make sure all of their papers were perfect. Her teaching style was very personal and she absolutely loved being with the high school students as she always commented "because they keep me young." Many students including her own children would love to sit in her room 6212 after school and discuss classes, events and life.
Chapter Five – Family -Janet`s devoted sister Margie spent countless hours on the phone talking, planning trips, shopping and enjoying time together. Margie and her husband Roger would enjoy many conversations with Janet about school, life, children and vacations. Janet was blessed to have such a dear sister and her family. Janet`s children Susan, Jerry, and Kara remember her as a loving mother who instilled in her children a strong work ethic and love of education. She was a devoted mother who always went above and beyond for them in every aspect. Her favorite saying on friendship was "birds of a feather flock together." She also believed in "speaking up and asking, because you never know unless you try." She made sure her children always followed their dreams and reached out to try something new. They have been fortunate to not only have her as a mother but as a teacher at Woburn High School also. She raised them up to be good people, appreciate the little things in life, to cherish friendships, be adventurous and travel. Her daughter Susan said "She always worried and told us to be careful. She signed us up to learn how to skate, ski, swim, dance, draw, run, jump and reach for the sky. We were always dressed properly, cultured in the arts, and told not to worry about money. We were blessed to have such a hardworking and caring mother."
Chapter Six - Magnificent Mammy - Janet loved spending time with her grandchildren and enjoyed having them visit her home on Bruno Terrace for sleepovers, ice cream and pizza, watching tv, making fairy gardens, and looking for the "money tree" in the backyard. They loved spending time with her and Billy, going to Squam Lake and to the beach. She was a loving and caring grandmother who instilled the love of her favorite hobby of shopping to her grandchildren. Her granddaughter wrote as part of a school essay "My grandmother, otherwise known as Mammy, walked into Marshalls one day and saw that all the shoes were 50 % off. She grabbed as many pairs as she could for herself, my mom and for all of her grandchildren. Whenever she walks into my house, she has something for everyone. She is absolutely the best."
Chapter Seven - A few of my favorite things - Janet loved the English language, proofreading reports and resumes for her family. She was an expert on grammar, punctuation and writing instructions on index cards. She absolutely enjoyed the thrill of shopping at Filene`s Basement, Jordan Marsh, and Marshall`s. She enjoyeddriving around Woburn in her black Cadillac, and caring for her family dogs Barney and Chief. But most of all she loved to travel. She felt her journey in life was not complete unless she "saw the world." She traveled extensively with family and friends throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and she especially loved going to Naples, Florida every winter.
Chapter Eight – Cherished forever - Janet`s life story will be forever cherished by her oldest daughter Susan Ann Thifault, her husband Leo and their three children Kathryn, Kevin and Karen Thifault of Woburn, MA. Her son, Gerald John Bruno, Jr. of Georgia. Her daughter Kara Jayne Crowe, her husband Leo and their children Caroline, Christine, Catrina, Claudia, Michael and Mitchell Crowe of Methuen, MA. Her sister Marjorie Landry and her husband Roger Landry of Lowell, MA. Her nieces Carolyn Landry and her husband John Holdsworth; Patricia Landry and her husband Stephan Heo and their children Eleanor, Stephan, and Charles Heo. Her dear friend, George William "Billy" Harvey, a friend since grammar school and her dear companion for the last 20 years. She will be missed by her many friends from high school, college, school colleagues and Naples friends.
Chapter Nine – She made a difference - So how would Janet want to be remembered? It is simple, that she made a difference in people`s lives whether it was a funny story, a smile, a lesson, or an act of kindness that she bestowed on them. She cared about everyone. Jan, JEB, Mom, Mammy did everything she wanted to. So when you hear these lyrics by Paul Anka, sung by Frank Sinatra remember our mom… the lovely Mrs. Janet Bruno. "My friend, I'll say it clear. I'll state my case, of which I'm certain. I`ve lived a life that`s full. I traveled each and every highway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets, I`ve had a few, but then again too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course. Each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this. I did it my way. I loved, I've laughed and cried. I`ve had my fill, my share of losing. And now, as tears subside. I find it all so amusing. To think, I did all that. And may I say, not in a shy way. I did it my way."
Chapter ten – Thank you
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours Monday, May 10, 2021 at the McLaughlin - Dello Russo Family Funeral Home, 60 Pleasant St., Woburn, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 11th from the McLaughlin - Dello Russo Family Funeral Home at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass that will be celebrated in Saint Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn, at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with interment at Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. All attending must wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing protocols. While Janet loved flowers, her family asks that you consider a gift in her memory of Janet E. Bruno to the Woburn Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Fund (Woburn High School), P. O Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801. To leave an online message of condolence please visit www.dellorusso.net