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Janet Lee Baty

July 12, 1933 December 3, 2009
Janet Lee Baty
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Obituary for Janet Lee Baty

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Janet Baty was a teacher, student, Michigan fan and mother of four children. She was born July 12, 1933 in Oxford, Michigan. Her father, Lee Van Wagoner, owned the corner drugstore in Oxford, where she worked as a soda jerk, the center of Oxford’s social scene. Her mother, Alice, was a member of Oxford's Garden Club and gave her a lifelong love of plants and Horticulture. She excelled at music, attended Interlochen and co-founded a pre-school. Janet almost always had cats and other pets by her side.

Janet Van Wagoner attended Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) and graduated with honors in Early Elementary Education. She taught kindergarten when she met Charles Baty, they were married August 4, 1956. The couple had 3 boys and a girl. They moved to Ann Arbor in 1967 but divorced in 1969.

Janet, enjoyed working in the yard, art, sewing, bridge and her children. She found solace in the writings and ideas of Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Brandon and managed her children's struggles growing up yet continued to give her children the freedom to learn through experience. The entire family helped Jan build a porch then she got her Master's in education from the University of Michigan.
She was a substitute teacher for many years and worked for the Ann Arbor Y. She became “Grandma Jan” and was always available to lend a hand and brighten the lives of her grandchildren.
Janet took care of her mother, Alice, until she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. She was assisted in coping with this disease by the caring staff at the Turner Senior Resource Center. She struggled bravely against it until December 3, 2009, when she passed at Arbor Hospice. She was 76.
Janet is survived by her brother, James Van Wagoner of Florence, Arizona; Chris (Deena) Baty of Ypsilanti Michigan; Greg (Mirci) Baty of Foothill Ranch, California; David (Elizabeth Hall) of Seattle, WA; and Julie Baty of Ann Arbor. Her grandchildren will also mourn her passing: Skyler and Alaina Baty of Ypsilanti, Spencer Baty of Seattle and Harmony Baty of California.
A Memorial Service will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Bossardet Chapel, 39 West Burdick St., Oxford MI on Saturday December 19, 2009 at 11:00 AM. Friends may gather at the funeral home from 10:00 - 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.


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