Janet was born (Nancy White) on March 14, 1948 in Chicago at the Salvation Army Booth Hospital, IL to a 17-year-old waitress named Betty White and a young race car driver, Bernard L. Wilhelmi. Adopted shortly after birth and named Janet Virginia Krueger by David and Virginia (Markle) Krueger. She attended two years at Fualkner School for Girls in Chicago, two years at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale and continued her post high school education at Polk Community College in Winter Haven, Florida. She first married straight out of high school, but it didn’t last long, and we couldn’t seem to find the name of the man she married. She then married Kenneth W. Kulik in 1969 and had one daughter Gianna (Kulik Stoker) Harts and with her third husband, Leon L. Stoker, she had two daughters Daphne (Stoker) Barley and Melanie (Stoker) Norris. After 1983, she raised all three girls as a single mother. She sacrificially gave of her time to transport, encourage and support them in all their interests like softball, volleyball, band and anything they set their minds to. She made so many personal sacrifices, so the girls wanted for nothing, including homecoming and prom dresses. Her door and heart were open to every wayward youth that needed a friend, caring advice, a shoulder to cry on, a couch to sleep on and more. She loved to have fun, make people laugh and had so many youth that called her their second mom. She listened patiently and gave her advice even if the person wasn’t ready to hear a hard truth.
She worked for many years, in different capacities and retired from Collier County Public Schools. By far her favorite and most beloved assignment was working with an amazingly funny and spontaneous young man by the name of Travis Stringer. Starting at grade 6, they were constantly up to shenanigans, but in the end, after 7 years of being his aide, they both walked across the stage at Barron Collier High School when he received his diploma.
Her close friends from high school remembered her as being “a pistol” and known for wisecracking and shenanigans. Her beloved students remember her smile, her unforgettable laugh, and her giving heart.
She instilled in her girls a never quit, never give up attitude. Jan was a fighter and faced every single challenge and hardship that this life threw at her with a smile, a stubbornness and positive attitude that didn’t quit until the day she took her last breath. That same spirit lives on in the lives she touched.
She is survived by her three daughters, Gianna (Steve) Harts, Melanie (Josh) Norris, Daphne (Dave) Barley; 9 grandchildren: Mackenzie Hazel, Stephanie Smith, Kiersten Hazel, Bailey Norris, Morrigan Norris, Dawson Barley, Alexander Harts, Troy Harts and Adilyn Barley; 2 great-grandchildren: Ezra and Oakley Burkett; and her brother William “Bill” Krueger, nieces and many cousins.
She spent her life on this earth creating sunshine and laughter in the world. Even though we share tears, stories and heartbreak, we know she is enjoying dancing and singing with the angels.
We will miss you mom!