Janet Mejia was born in 1924 in the rural Midwest cornbelt. The Great Depression soon set in and
shaped who she was for the rest of her life. Her father kept the family alive by hunting and fishing in the
neighboring woods and rivers. Her mother, Susan, often "went without," to make sure her five children
had enough to eat. Little Janet found emotional solace with her cherished grandmother "Rachey."
Following high school graduation Janet followed the call to move west, out to California. With World
War II raging she found work at Lockheed Martin, where she met handsome New York Italian Alfred.
Soon they married and their beautiful daughter Toni was born. Unfortunately, there were rough marital
waters and Janet needed a lawyer---Los Angeles attorney Ivan Smith. Sparks flew between Ivan and his
young, beautiful client and they became man and wife in 1950. While entertaining Ivan's clients with
Sunday dinners and giving birth to Bert and Cathy, she managed to attend and graduate from college.
But shortly following Larry's birth, Janet packed up the three youngest children and the baby grand
piano and bought a house in Riverside County. Now as a single mother she supported the family by
teaching in various elementary schools in the local school district.
It wasn't long before a devoted full-time Bible teacher, Geraldine, knocked on the young family's door.
Gerri offered a free home Bible study to the whole family.
Soon, love struck again and Janet Smith became Janet Mejia in 1963. When Mr. Mejia enlisted in the
U.S. Army, the family joined him when he was stationed in France from 1965-67. But Janet did not
ignore her spiritual hunger. She continued to receive a home Bible study with English-speaking Michelle.
When Janet and the family returned to California, she and Cathy symbolized their dedication to Jehovah
together on August 4, 1967, at a district convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.
In 1970 Janet sold the house and relocated to Wildomar, where she lived until her sudden death at
home on May 26, 2017, at the age of 93.
We remember Janet for her fierce independence. Her family is grateful that she was able to live in her
own home on her own terms until her very last day of breath. Her nephew, Howard, helped make that
Janet adored children. We remember her as a schoolteacher who saw the potential in every single
student and as a fellow shopper who couldn't resist approaching a mother’s cart and squeezing the
sweet cheek of its tiny rider. Most of all, she adored her three grandchildren and four great
grandchildren. They will miss her deeply. She was a wonderful grandmother and was known to remind
her kids that she needed more little ones to love.
Janet had a long list of passionate interests: patchwork quilts, Native American history, culture, and
crafts, the American West, antiques, family genealogy, Angels baseball.
Above all, Janet cared about people. Until her last week of life she was thinking of who needed a note of
greetings and spiritual encouragement. Who needed an envelope with a thoughtful gift inside? No one
entered Janet’s home without leaving well-fed and happy.
And for 50 years Janet stuck by her God Jehovah and his Bible truths. She treasured her Saturday
afternoon meetings and attended as often as she physically could, including her very last Saturday. The
conductor of the Watchtower Study could always count on Sister Mejia to raise her hand and participate
with heartfelt comments.
We will deeply miss our mother, grandmother, aunt, neighbor, and spiritual sister. But Janet would be
quick to comfort us with her own Bible-based hope: “And [God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes,
and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things
have passed away.” --- Revelation 21:4.