Janice Marie Cantwell

4 November, 19383 December, 2022
Obituary of Janice Marie Cantwell


Murphy Funeral Homes

Janice M. Cantwell, born Janice Marie Farkas, a resident of McLean VA, passed away peacefully at age 84 on December 3rd, after suffering a stroke. She was surrounded by her three loving children. The daughter of the late Louis and Mary Farkas, Janice was born in Trenton, NJ in 1938 and raised in Florence, NJ. She is survived by her three children, Karen Cantwell (Joe) of Vienna, VA, Cynthia Donohoe (Joe) of Washington, D.C. and son Michael Cantwell (Mary) of Arlington, VA as well as her six grandchildren: Brian Donohoe (Victoria), Shannon Donohoe, Patrick Cantwell, Will Cantwell, Daniela Cacciapaglia and Maeve Cantwell. Janice is also survived by her sister Eileen Morton (Al), brother Roger Farkas (Kate) as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. In 1958, Janice married her home-town sweetheart, Nicholas (Nick) D. Cantwell (Col, USAF), a month after he was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. Janice and Nick quickly embraced their Air Force life; their three children were born at various bases within five years. Janice remained closely connected to her beloved parents and other family members through letters, phone calls, and frequent visits to the “homebase” in New Jersey. In 1968, Nick received orders for a one-year assignment to serve his country halfway around the world in Thailand. The assignment was “unaccompanied” and the family was not permitted to join him. During that year, Janice raised their three young children alone but was grateful for the many family gatherings and support from her extended family. Janice and the kids communicated with Nick via letters and reel-to-reel audio tapes. When Nick had an unexpected business trip to Hawaii, Janice jumped at the chance to meet her husband in Honolulu, a mini vacation which inspired their passion for travel, culture and new experiences. The family embraced the opportunities and enrichment of their nomadic lives residing in Colorado Springs (CO), Brooklyn (NY), Brussels (Belgium), Montgomery (AL), Dayton (OH), Munich and Kaiserslautern (Germany) and their final posting in the Annapolis area. While living in Germany, Janice relaunched her college education at the University of Maryland, Munich campus. Janice continued her undergraduate education in Ohio and graduated “Cum Laude” with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Wright State University. A lifelong learner, Janice expanded her education at St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) to earn her Master’s Degree in 1995. She loved debating the Great Books. Janice’s children are grateful that she imparted her curious mindset, desire to learn, and to seek new experiences near and far. Janice enjoyed rewarding careers beginning as a student advisor at Wright State University followed by contract management positions in Kaiserslautern and the Washington Area. She also became a realtor in Annapolis and enjoyed volunteering at the Naval Academy Visitor’s Center and the local hospital. Janice adored her parents and felt truly lucky to have been born into a close-knit family of Slovak/Hungarian descent. She and her sister Eileen ensured that the delicious Eastern European dishes and desserts prepared by their mother and grandmothers were kept alive for future generations. Favorites included toltott kaposzta (stuffed cabbage) and palacsinta (light and airy crepes). Janice was a beautiful woman and enjoyed wearing richly colored clothing – short skirts and geometric patterns were her signature look in the 70’s. She would love to be remembered for her dedication to family, her intelligent conversation, and her tapered fingernails which were always freshly manicured. Before and after Nick’s retirement in 1983, they traveled throughout the U.S. and to at least 20 countries. Janice truly enjoyed trips, outings and special milestones with her six grandchildren. When Nick died in 2014, living alone was a difficult transition so she moved to the Vinson Hall Retirement Community in McLean VA to be closer to her family. A Celebration of Life will be held for Janice on Sunday, December 11th from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM at Murphy’s Funeral Home in Falls Church, VA. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a later date. She will rest together with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Vinson Hall ( or to a Veterans group of your choice.

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Sunday, 11 December, 2022