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Janet R. Jahnke, art teacher, media specialist

Oct. 31, 1943 – March 27, 2015

Janet R. Jahnke, of Orchard Park, a teacher and school media specialist, died Friday in Sisters Hospital after a short battle with lymphoma. She was 71.

Born in Buffalo, the former Janet Baker was a graduate of Bishop O’Hern High School.

Mrs. Jahnke was an art teacher in St. Mark’s Elementary School for 10 years, then became an aide and media specialist in Windom Elementary School in Orchard Park in 1987.

At Windom, she was active in the WE TV closed-circuit television program and trained staff members in audio-visual computer skills. She also helped develop programs for assemblies, staff development and special events.

After retiring in 2012, she volunteered at Windom, assisting the school library media specialist.

An Orchard Park resident since 1976, Mrs. Jahnke was president of the Orchard Park Music Boosters for more than 20 years and was a member of the board of directors of the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. She also designed the covers for the orchestra’s programs and handled many backstage duties.

She was president of the Orchard Park Council of the Arts and a member of the Art Rocks the Park planning committee.

For 25 years, she worked with the Orchard Park Summer Reading Program. She did summer art projects with youngsters in the parks, at the Buffalo Zoo and on the Buffalo waterfront.

She was honored in 2013 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orchard Park Foundation for Academic Excellence and named an Orchard Park Citizen of the Week.

As a volunteer, she interviewed student candidates to serve on the Orchard Park Youth Court. She carried the torch through Orchard Park for the New York State Summer Games.

She was president of the Windom Parent Teacher Organization and the Orchard Park School Central Council simultaneously.

She also coached several Orchard Park teams that won state Odyssey of the Mind competitions.

In addition to her creative interests, she enjoyed hiking and bicycling.

Survivors include her husband of 46 years, David; a son, John; two daughters, Joanne Boebel and Diane Waterman; a brother, Daniel Baker; and nine grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 3148 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.

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