Janet Elizabeth (Johnson) McGrew passed away peacefully at Henry County Memorial Hospital on January 20, 2016 following a brain hemorrhage. She was born April 19, 1929 in Marion County Indiana to Will and Mary Roy (Thomson) Johnson, both teachers in the Indianapolis high school system. With her brothers, J. Barclay and Wm. Hilton and her sister, Mary Sylvia, the family divided their time growing up between Indianapolis and summers spent on the family farm in Grant County. The grown children eventually inherited and continued to build the family farm as Wm. Johnson Family Farms, Inc., with Janet serving as its long-time corporate secretary. The farm sustained six generations over 130 years, and was recognized as a Hoosier Heritage Family Farm before it was finally sold in the winter of 2013-14.
Janet met her future husband, Jameson, at Earlham College, from which they both graduated in 1951. They married February 23, 1958 in Fairmount, Indiana. In the intervening years between graduation and her marriage she worked as an office assistant at L.S. Ayres in Indianapolis. Soon after their marriage, the couple settled in New Castle, where they lived happily together for nearly 58 years, raising four children, Lindley Craig, Allen J., Evan M., and Lydia Ann, all of whom graduated from New Castle High School. In addition, Janet and Jameson provided a home as needed and other crucial support to Janet’s nieces, Carole (Williams) Brown and Donna Jean Williams, who also graduated from New Castle High School.
After settling in New Castle, the couple at first managed and then purchased Glenwood Mobile Home Park from Jameson’s father, Glen McGrew. Janet served as its long-term office manager. They and their children sold it in 2011. From 1979 through 1997 Janet served as a tax preparer for H. & R. Block, a vocation that provided an opportunity to serve a broad spectrum of the New Castle community.
Janet was a public-spirited member of the community. Recognizing a need for mental health care in Henry County, she served through much of the 1970’s as secretary of the Henry County Comprehensive Mental Health Association. She was also a long-time member of Tri-Kappa service sorority and Raintree Circle extension homemakers club. She served nine years on the Board of Directors of Raintree Square Friends Housing and also served her alma mater, Earlham College, first as a member of the Alumni Council and subsequently as a member of Earlham Foundation’s Investment Advisory Committee. In retirement, she and Jameson served as English tutors for immigrant families in Henry County.
Janet is survived by her husband of nearly 58 years, Jameson Allen McGrew of New Castle, a sister, Mary Sylvia (Johnson) Williams of Washington, D.C., two sisters-in-law, Jean (Adams) Johnson of Marion, Indiana and Joyce (Webster) Johnson of Cleves, Ohio, four children and their spouses: Lindley C. and Laura (Adler) McGrew of Lewes Delaware, Allen J. and Heidi (Scheirer) McGrew of Beavercreek, Ohio, Evan M. and Martha (Willis) McGrew of New Castle, Indiana, and Lydia Ann (McGrew) and Victor Head, also of New Castle. Also surviving her are nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter: Daniel McGrew, Amy McGrew and her fiancé Colin Wixted, Rosemary Head and her fiancé Evan Moss, and their daughter, Katherine Moss, Will McGrew and his fiancé Amanda Mercado, Emily McGrew, Michael McGrew, Renzhi McGrew, Andrew Head, and Benjamin Head.
A visitation will be held at Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service in New Castle 4:00 -8:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 23. A memorial service will be held at First Friends Meetinghouse, 503 So. Main St., New Castle, Indiana on Sunday January 24 at 2:00 p.m. Donations in Janet’s memory may be made to Henry County Community Foundation.
Courtesy of Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service.