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Janet B. Goode

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Janet B. Goode died Feb. 17 at Kettering Medical Center. She was 82. Jan was born in Steubenville, the eldest child of Dorothy and Joe Ventolo, although in recent years she claimed to be the youngest, an assertion her brother Joe (Herky) Ventolo of Enon cheerfully backed up.

On Christmas Eve 1944, she married her high school sweetheart, James Goode of Blanchester. In 1953 she and Jim moved to the white house on the corner in Lytle, Ohio, where she continued to raise their children after Jim’s death in 1960.

Jan began her career as a newspaper woman doing reviews for the Kettering Oakwood Times of Antioch College plays in exchange for tickets. She worked for the Western Star in Lebanon, Ohio, for over 30 years as a reporter, editor and long time columnist of the “Mother Tongue,” in which she chronicled her life with four children and offered her observations on life in general. Her children all managed to survive the notoriety. During her tenure at the Western Star, she played mother hen to the younger writers with warmth and humor and won many awards for her writing. She left the Western Star in the 1980s for the communications department at Kettering Medical Center, but continued her column.

Jan loved words, music, Lake Hope and Ireland. For years she was a regular visitor to Canal Street Tavern. She was a talented photographer. She loved people and kept enough food on hand to feed anyone who might possibly drop by for however long they might want to stay.

Jan will be missed by anyone who ever needs to know the words of a song, how to spell a word, where the best fossil hunting beds are, anything about Emily Dickinson or King Arthur, but especially by her family, Deb, Andy, Alex Jerison and Ben Whitmer, David, Jess, Stephanie Goode and Selwa Whitesell, Jim Goode, Chelsea Mellon, Johanna Goode and Becca Heskamp, Carolyn, Rosa and John Paul Jones, her brother and his wife, Joe and Martha Ventolo, her great-grandchildren Graham Mellon, Maddie and Jack Whitmer, as well as various cousins, nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Lytle United Methodist Church on Feb. 20. Should anyone wish, donations may be made in her name to the Mary L. Cook Library, 381 Old Stage Road, Waynesville, Ohio 45068 or any other library to help share her love of reading and words.


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