Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Janet Marie Wehmhoff died Jan. 4, 2021 at the age of 86 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility for the Sisters of Charity. Sister Janet Marie was born on June 18, 1934 to Walter C. and Clara (Sandman) Wehmhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the second of four children, three girls and one boy. She was a Sister of Charity for 68 years.
Sister Janet grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attending St. Mark grade school in Evanston and graduated from St. Xavier Commercial High School in 1951. She worked at Colonial Finance Company, Cincinnati when she felt the call to religious life. She entered the Sisters of Charity on Feb. 2, 1952.
Sister Janet earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1971. Her master’s degree in education in learning disabilities was earned at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado in 1975.
Sister Janet’s ministries included more than 55 years in classrooms, either with primary grades or after-school programs working with the learning disabled. She began at Margery Reed Nursery/Day Care in Denver, Colorado in 1953. In 1956 she was sent to teach at St. Francis, Pueblo, Colorado, where she remained until 1960. She taught at Holy Trinity, Trinidad, Colorado for the next 10 years. In 1970 she went to St. Therese, also in Pueblo, followed by a year at Holy Cross in Thornton, Colorado.
It was at this time that Sister Janet began a 40-year ministry to the poor and marginalized families of Loyola School in Denver, Colorado (1972-2011). As their primary grade religion teacher, special reading and special education/after-school program educator, she viewed teaching the children ‘as a privilege and a great gift.’ At the heart of her ministry Sister Janet saw giving children knowledge and the love of Jesus in their lives as central to her call to teach. Parents saw what a comforting presence she conveyed to their children with her ready smile.
Since all of Sister Janet’s dedicated years of ministry were lived out in Colorado she had cultivated a true affinity for the gift of the mountains, seeing them as a source of reflection, meditation and recreation. She found joy in hiking, mountain-climbing and skiing. The friendships formed among the Sisters of Charity ministering in Colorado over the years were a source of growth and genuine support for Sister Janet in living out her call to religious life.
As her health declined quickly she came to Mother Margaret Hall only a few days before her death.
Sister Janet is survived by her sister Ruth Wehmhoff and brother Richard Wehmhoff and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Lillian, known in religion as Sister Clare SNDden.
Her friend, S. Victoria Marie Forde, remembers, “Janet was always such a pleasant person, comfortable with staying in the background at Loyola in Denver. And now this special blessing of sharing this feast day of entering heaven the same day as our dear Elizabeth Seton.”
Sisters and friends will greet visitors when it is safe to do so. A Memorial Mass will be offered in the Motherhouse chapel of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati at that time. Burial in the Sisters of Charity cemetery has already taken place.
Memorials can be made in Sister Janet Marie Wehmhoff’s name to the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Retirement Fund, 5900 Delhi Rd., Mount St. Joseph, Ohio 45051.