Obituary of Janice Fleury
Janice Barber Fleury, age 92, of Montezuma, NY passed away in Manlius on April 22, 2019. Janice was born June 25th, 1926 in Throop, NY, the third child of Ernest and Estella (Roberts) Barber. Her youth was mostly spent in Throop where she graduated from Port Byron High School.
Janice met Loren Fleury on a blind date. He impressed her in his borrowed suit, and since "she couldn't get rid of him" the two were married and later had three children: Ronald, Diana, and Janice. They raised the children on their farm on Montezuma, NY.
Aside from farming, Janice had a diverse career. As a child she took several piano lessons and determined that they were sufficient. She went on to become an accomplished, self-taught pianist and guitarist. Throughout her adult life, she served as choir/music director for a number of churches, including Cayuga Methodist and Fleming Federated Church. Upon retirement from her choir director duties, Janice went on to perform at many regional senior residence communities.
When Janice was in her sixties, Route 90 was being paved in front of the Fleury's farm. The crewmaster asked Loren if he knew of any woman who would be able to fill a position on the road crew to satisfy state requirements. The job was to run the massive roller, and the only qualification was that the prospective woman must be able to climb the machine. Loren did not hesitate to point out his agile wife, who nimbly scaled the massive roller. Janice not only enjoyed the job, but gained local recognition as the affable woman on top of the rig with the luminous smile.
Janice was also an environmentalist at heart. She developed a love of cross-country skiing. Her fervor for these two things inspired Janice and Loren to transform the woodlands of their farm into the cross-country ski resort, Sojourn Farms. During the 1970s and 80s, Sojourn Farms welcomed people from all over central New York to enjoy the lodge and trails, including Moonshine Loop and Loren's Maze.
Janice will be remembered for her empathy and compassion, her spirited and unpredictable humor, and her prankster antics. She was able to see the best in everyone she knew. People from all backgrounds called her a friend, although she did maintain an embattled relationship with the Cayuga County Sheriff Department, largely due her uneven temperament when being regularly pulled over for speeding.
Janice is lovingly survived by her three children: Ronald of Cayuga, NY; Diana (Paul) Earnst of Beaufort, SC; and Janice (Ronald) Saunders of Fabius, NY. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Edith Patterson (Stephen) Brown; Justin Patterson; Kathryn Fleury (T. Andrew) Eldridge; Michelle (Zachary) Smith; Elizabeth (Corey) Mossow; and Daniel (Rie) Saunders. Nine great-grandchildren: Loren, Elizabeth, and Ford Brown; Liam and Lucinda Eldridge; Zadie and Oliver Smith; and Charleigh and Everett Mossow. Lastly, she is survived by six sisters: Elizabeth, Mavis, Edith, Beatrice, Nancy and Marilyn; and one brother, Richard. She is pre-deceased by three brothers: James, Raymond, and Bobby; and one sister, Bernice.
Calling hours will be held on April 26 from 3-5pm at Langham Funeral Home, 75 E Genesee St., Auburn; a celebration of life will be held at 11am , April 27 at Cayuga United Methodist Church in Cayuga with a repast to follow at Aurelius Fire Department.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Fleming Federated Church or Cayuga United Methodist Church.
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