Janette (Jan) Ruth Gillette Ferris departed on September 25, 2013. She was born in Lorraine, NY on June 11, 1926 to Luther and Doris Gillette.
Jan graduated from Adams (NY) High School and the Watertown School of Business. She was employed by W.T. Burns (a shipping enterprise) and the U.S. Postal Service before marrying Richard (Dick) Ferris and becoming a full time purveyor of antiques, as well as a housewife. Much to Jan’s credit, she managed the “little things” that make operating any antiques business successful––from client service to maintaining booth props to preparing show cards.
Surviving Jan are her husband, Richard, three daughters (born of her first marriage)––Marilyn Fink, of Ozark, MO, Donna (Joe) Smith, of Sherrill, NY, and Billie St. Joseph, of Brownville, NY; four step-children, Sheri (Ed) Snyder of Rome, NY, Ken and Scott, of Boonville, NY and Christopher (Deanna), of Oklahoma City, OK; one other son-in-law, Steve St. Joseph; seven grandchildren and their partners and children. Predeceased were Jan’s three brothers, Edward, Richard and Jack, daughter, Doris and step-daughter, Karen.
Piano playing was one of Jan’s great joys: as was quilt making, gardening, and observing nature, especially bird watching. She and Dick were known to collect blown glass witch balls and hand forged choppers, sell off the collection and then build it back up again. Jan was also a member of the Eastern Star, and the Watertown (NY) Sports Club, where she was an excellent markswoman.
Shortly after marrying Dick in 1973, they moved to Madison, NY, which at the time was abuzz with antique shops. Their venture into shop life was short lived, instead choosing to follow the nomadic life of the antiques-show-circuit dealer. One of their first long distance shows was in Denver, CO, where they “took advantage of the chance to see the mountains,” as her husband recalls. Eventually the circuit expanded to include shows in most of the states from the east coast to the Rockies. And during the winter months Jan and Dick would escape the snowy north country to harbor in Florida––their base for a subset of southern Civil War and antiques shows.
Jan’s family encourages those who desire, to make a donation to animal welfare or environmental organizations.