Janet A. Hoelzel Mark, 64, of Englewood, FL, beloved mother, sister, aunt, and friend, died Friday, September 16, 2011, in Mystic, CT, from glioblastoma. Born in New Haven July 7, 1947, she was a daughter of the late Jerry and Peggy Goldschmidt Hoelzel, then of West Haven.

For 36 years, Mrs. Mark taught kindergarten in Milford Public Schools. She filled her K-1 classroom with music, learning, and fun. She also encouraged students to venture outside the classroom by creating the Ecology Club, designing and planting the school garden, and helping write grants to fund the pond restoration. She said that every lesson was better taught by a song and that every heart was stronger for singing. Above all else she believed, “Your best is good enough for me.”

A longtime resident of Killingworth, CT and a retiree to Englewood, FL, Mrs. Mark was an avid gardener, stone wall restorer, adventurer, poet, and athlete. She loved to swim, hike, bike, play basketball and tennis, and sing karaoke. She also taught 17 summers at the Platt Nature Center in Killingworth, CT.

She considered herself lucky to have extraordinary family, friends, and students. She is survived by her daughter, Shannon Mark of Westerly, RI; her son, Kevin Mark of New Haven, CT; her former husband, Ewan Mark, of Killingly, CT; four siblings, Jean Schurr of Florida, Richard Hoelzel of Georgia, Margaret Ramos of New Hampshire, and Marion Hoelzel of New York; her aunt, Hildegarde Hinterberger of North Haven, CT; life-long best friend, Glenna (Smullen) Keenan of Guilford, CT; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Friends may call at the Keenan Funeral Home, 330 Notch Hill Road (Rte. 22 So. at Rte. 80), North Branford, Saturday, October 1, 2011, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. In honor of her love of the outdoors, memorial donations can be made to your local nature preserve or land trust.
Please use this space to share a memory of Janet Mark.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Please use this space to share a memory of Janet Mark.

My mom did everything. She was amazing. It all seemed to come easily and she always had more energy than even her kindergartners. It was only a few months ago that she confessed: "I haven't been tired in thirty-one years, but I'm tired now." Apparently, I was the only other thing to make her tired.

Where ever she was, at home or at school, she always made something happen -- playing softball, gardening, leading us on a hike, driving down some road just to see where it went, bargain hunting, frog hunting -- it didn't really matter what "it" was, because "it" was always an adventure.

I hope you were able to share in at least one of her adventures.
-Shannon