Aug. 26, 1947 -- Oct. 22, 2017
Janet J. Mather was proud of her Mather heritage, and was fine when people got it wrong, too.
But you could expect to be corrected in a lighthearted way.
She would tell people that it was Mather as in Cotton Mather -- not like Jerry Mathers, the actor who famously played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver in the popular television sitcom "Leave It To Beaver."
For Ms. Mather, 70, a retired adviser at the University at Buffalo who died Sunday in her home of cancer, this was a personal matter.
After all, the Snyder resident counted Cotton Mather as a first cousin, 10 times removed.
"Janet was exuberant, friendly, considerate and generous. She was always thinking about other people," said Susan Krasner, a friend of Mather's.
"If you went shopping with her and admired something, you often ended up getting it from her later," Krasner said. "You had to be careful."
A lifelong resident of Western New York, she was born in Buffalo.
Ms. Mather graduated from Williamsville schools and then from UB, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and graduating summa cum laude.
She also earned a master's degree in education, with Phi Beta Kappa honors, from UB.
In 1968, Ms. Mather began her career at the university at age 21, as a secretary in the psychology department.
While working full-time, she finished her own degrees. She went on as an employee at UB, first in Career Planning and Placement as a career counselor. She served as interim director of the Career Services office and also interim director for Student Life.
She ended her lengthy career at UB as an adviser in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Ms. Mather retired in 2013.
Advising and mentoring students was her passion. Always an active volunteer in her community and church, she took on more leadership roles in retirement. She was especially interested in social change and refugee resettlement.
She was instrumental in arranging a talk this month at her church, Calvary Episcopal in Williamsville, featuring Buffalo News reporter Jerry Zremski speaking about his award-winning series of news stories, "From Burma to Buffalo."
The talk, which will take place on Sunday, will be dedicated in Ms. Mather's memory.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 1 in Calvary Episcopal Church, 20 Milton St., Williamsville.