Wednesday, December 2, 2015
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Canton, West of Sheldon
45100 Warren Rd.
Canton, MI 48187
Scripture Service at 6:30 P.M.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
10:30 AM EST
St. Thomas a'Becket
555 S. Lilley Road
Canton, MI 48188
In state 10 AM until mass begins
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Janine Zajac lived a life of purpose while making memories with the ones she loved. She was a hardworking woman who faced her fair share of trials, but she faced whatever came her way with both grace and courage that were to be admired. Janine was a devoted family woman who treasured her role as both a wife and a mother, however, she just may have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother. She worked hard, but she also made the time to enjoy each and every moment that she was given. Although life will never be the same without Janine here, she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
After the end of WWI in 1918, Germany suffered great losses and by the time 1920 dawned, they were forced to pay for the war. These days were anything but easy, but despite these hardships, Lucas Flis and Katherine Wajda were focused on an exciting time in their own lives as they welcomed the birth of the baby girl they named Janine on December 7, 1924. Although her earliest years were spent in Germany, when she was four and-a-half years old her parents moved their family to France in search of a better life. Janine was one of three children, joined in her family by her sisters, Genevieve and Maria.
Although her childhood was not easy, Janine took everything in stride. She found ways to have fun such as using chicken neck bones to play jacks. As a teen Janine loved dancing and rode her bike to get bread. These were the days when German occupied France after the German invasion on May 10, 1940. On one occasion she was stopped by a Nazi soldier! These years were beyond difficult as food and other resources were limited. Janine’s 17th birthday was anything but ordinary as it was “Pearl Harbor Day” when the United States naval base in Pearl Harbor was invaded. She worked at a pepper factory during this time. Janine attended local schools through the 10th grade.
Not to be forgotten during this time was Janine’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Bill Zajac, a United States Army soldier stationed in France during World War II. They met on August 25, 1944 during his short leave. Just as their relationship was blossoming, he returned to active duty service that September. Despite being separated, the love between Janine and Bill continued to grow, and on April 13, 1945, he gave her the surprise of a lifetime when he arrived at her house. Deeply in love, they were married on June 29, 1946, in a ceremony in France. Once married, Janine and Bill began making plans to come to America as her mother required that they be married before leaving. On March 9, 1947, they came to the United States with only one suitcase where they were welcomed by Bill’s three brothers, Walter, Chester, and Mitchell, and his sister, Estelle, as well as their families. On September 25, 1951, Janine was proud to become a United States citizen having come to the country not speaking a word of English. Only knowing Polish, she made her way and adjusted to her new life with both beauty and grace. They lived in Hamtramck until early the 1950s where they moved to Detroit. In 1970, Janine and Bill moved to Redford before finally settling down in Canton in 1974. Together they raised two children, Elaine and Denise, who were their greatest source of pride and joy.
Throughout her life, Janine was fully dedicated to her family. In 1955, she took a trip to France with Elaine, and in 1966, she went back with both Elaine and Denise. In 1971, Janine traveled back to France for her father’s funeral, and in the nineties she went once with Bill and once on her own after Bill’s death. Her travels also took her to Colorado in 1988, Las Vegas in 1987, and to visit Nashville in 1991.
Always one to be busy, Janine was a woman of many interests. She regularly attended church until her health became more limiting during her last four years, and for years she was part of a Bunco group. While in assisted living, she played Bingo three times a week. During her younger years, Janine was an amazing seamstress who made dresses for her daughters and granddaughters while they were growing up. She also used to knit and crochet. Janine loved cooking, especially when preparing Polish dishes, and at one time she made 230 pierogies! She looked forward to the holidays every year, and she always went over and above, baking dozens of Christmas cookies and fruitcakes. When it came time to relax, Janine enjoyed watching Everybody Loves Raymond and Dancing With the Stars. Her favorite artists were Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban.
With unending love for her family and friends, Janine Zajac was a blessing in the lives of everyone she knew. She enjoyed being at home and in the beauty of her flower gardens, but nothing was better than being surrounded by the love of her family. Vibrant, gracious, and kindhearted, Janine will be forever missed by all who were blessed to know and love her.
Janine Zajac died on November 29, 2015. Janine's family includes her children, Elaine (Tim) Schoening and Denise (Fred) Langlois; grandchildren, Kevin (Katie), Kimberly (Andrew) & Lisa (Greg); great-grandchildren, Lauren, Lainey, Anna & Zoey. Janine was preceded in death by her husband, Bill. Family will receive friends Wednesday 2-9 p.m. at Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home 45100 Warren Road, Canton, MI 48187(btwn Sheldon and Canton Center Rds), with a scripture service at 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas a' Becket, 555 S Lilley Rd, Canton, MI 48188. In state 10 a.m. until mass begins. Please share memories, photos and sign the guest book at www.TurowskiLifeStory.com