Jane S. Janoski, 67, nurse who cared for mothers and infants

March 13, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Jane Stewart Janoski, a registered nurse whose soothing emotional support and understanding defined her role as a caregiver to mothers and their infants, died of colon cancer Saturday at Mercy Medical Center. She was 67 and lived in Mount Washington.

She was born Jane Dean Stewart in Jersey City, N.J., and raised in Ridgewood, N.J., where she graduated from high school. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Columbia University School of Nursing in 1958.

Mrs. Janoski, who had an interest in the medical complications of pregnancy, began her nursing career in obstetrics and gynecology at Sloan Hospital for Women of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.

While working at the hospital, she assisted Dr. Vincent Fredda with his early work in amniocentesis and fetal maternal Rh factor incompatibility studies.

In 1961, she married Dr. Alfonso Janoski, whom she had met while he was studying for his medical degree at Columbia. The couple moved to Baltimore in 1969 when Dr. Janoski took a position with the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Mrs. Janoski, who lived on West Rogers Avenue, returned to nursing in 1981 after raising her children, going to work in the maternal child health department at Sinai Hospital.

"She was especially good at listening and always ready to hold the hand of a mother who had a sick infant or had lost a child," said Mary Ralph, a co-worker at the Northwest Baltimore hospital. "She will always be remembered for the emotional support she gave her patients. It was just part of her personality. No matter how busy she was, she always had time to sit and listen."

In 1986, she joined the staff at St. Joseph Medical Center, where she continued working in the same field.

"She could lift anyone's spirit. She treated her patients as if they were members of her own family," said Mary L. Cimino, a registered nurse in the St. Joseph Medical Center's Mother-Baby Unit.

Mrs. Janoski also worked with the Tri Home Nursing Agency, visiting mothers who had recently given birth.

"Her visits brought her to all sections of Baltimore and an opportunity to help people from all walks of life. She made relationships with mothers that lasted, especially when mother and baby experienced distress," said her daughter, Susan Anne Janoski of Stevenson.

"She liked working with patients rather than being an administrator. And she loved babies," said her husband, a medical officer with the federal Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Rockville.

Even though she retired in 1998, Mrs. Janoski continued working through her church, the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington.

"I called her whenever a need arose," said Sister Margi Savage, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph who works at the church. "She was always available for outreach and service. She had a desire to help those in need. Her faith was a mainstay of her life."

Mrs. Janoski, who enjoyed collecting American antiques, also had helped operate an antiques stall in Ellicott City some years ago. She also was a founder of the Mount Washington Swim Club and a member of the Woman's Club of Roland Park.

She liked gardening and gourmet cooking, and was an accomplished quilter. She also enjoyed attending the theater, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Opera Company.

"She was unselfish and always put others first. She was just a thoroughly lovely person and that sums up Jane," said Wendy C. Codd, a longtime friend who lives in Glen Arm.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 5800 Smith Ave.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Janoski is survived by a son, Stephen G. Janoski of Annapolis; a brother, Robert Stewart of Oxnard, Calif.; and a grandson.

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