Janet Lucille Ronk
September 1, 1933 – October 29, 2019
Janet Lucille Ronk, born in Lansing, Michigan to the late Zoe Gladys Thurber Hicks and Robert E. Hicks, passed away at the age of 86 on October 29, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Janet was the loving wife of David Frank Ronk, Sr for over 67 years. Family was the most important thing to her. She is survived by David and her children; David F. Ronk Jr. (Cheryl) of East Lansing, Susan Moriarty of Baltimore MD, Mary Ellen Burck (Mike) of Harrison Township, Bob Ronk (Lisa) of Ann Arbor and her grandchildren; Audrey Barton (Sean), Irving Ronk, Kate Brusk (Dan), Owen Ronk (Cara), Robin Moriarty, Adam Ronk, Steve Burck, Claire Moriarty, and Emma Ronk, and great grandchildren Hannah and Henry. She was preceded in death by all her siblings. Janet was the youngest of seven children and relished being the “baby sister.” She loved being an aunt and kept in contact with all her nieces and nephews.
Janet frequently shared stories of her idyllic childhood growing up on South Harrison Road in what her parents turned into the Flower Pot neighborhood. She attended the one-room Champion School, loved playing in the barn, and remembered meeting her brother at the train station as he left and returned from the War. She recorded the history of her parent’s neighborhood in her book; The History of the Red Cedar Neighborhood. Her brothers, Robert E. Hicks Jr., Harold E. Hicks, and James Hicks, along with her sisters, Merlyn (Sis) Dickson, Marjorie Atchison, and Helen Kilfoy were close their whole lives.
The love of her life was David F. Ronk, Sr. They met in 4th grade at Peoples Church and began dating in High School. In addition to being a Majorette in the marching band, she was the 1951 valedictorian at East Lansing High. They married one-year out of high school and lived in Kalamazoo, MI; Angola, IN; Gary, IN; Alden NY; and East Aurora, NY before coming home to build a house on Daisy Lane.
After the children were grown, they built a house on Bear Lake where she loved to swim, boat and host Sunday family dinners. Over the winter they lived in Edisto Beach, S.C, where there was always room for family and friends. In later years they lived in the Clusters and most recently at Burcham Hills Retirement Center.
After her children were in school full-time Janet returned to MSU to finish her formal education in Home Economics/Human Ecology specializing in Early Childhood Development. She taught at the MSU Lab Preschool and at the East Lansing Methodist Church Preschool. After receiving her Masters’ Degree, she worked for MSU’s College of Education in the placement, mentoring, and evaluation of student teachers. As her career progressed, Janet provided instruction to teachers employed at American Schools throughout the World on classroom management and other subjects necessary for recertification.
A proud Spartan Fan, she and David frequented football, baseball and hockey games. Rose Bowl trips, tailgates with friends, and watching the MSU Marching Band were highlights of her life.
Friends were an important part of Janet’s life and she connected with others through Kappa Kappa Gamma, Creative Hands, the Peoples Church Hannah Circle and as an Elder, her Bridge Club, her golf league, and her Burcham Hills community.
A celebration of her life and legacy will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Peoples Church. The family will receive relatives, friends, and colleagues at the church immediately following the service.
Those inclined to make a contribution in memory of Janet are encouraged to consider gifts to the Burcham Hills Foundation (https://burchamhills.com/burcham-hills-foundation/#ways-to-give), Peoples Church Memorial Garden (https://onrealm.org/thepeopleschurch/-/give/now), or Sparrow Hospice (http://www.sparrow.org/hospice-charitable-giving).
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Celebration of Life
The Peoples Church
200 West Grand River Avenue