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Belanger, Janet F. (Stynes) of Malden, December 28, 2021, at age 59.

Devoted wife of Kevin W. Belanger. Beloved sister of Susan Nardone and her late husband Nicholas, Donna Goneau and her partner Joyce Bates, James Stynes and his wife Charlotte. Loving aunt of Dorothy Nardone, Nicole Nardone-Leavitt, Jack Goneau and Steven Goneau. Cherished great-aunt of Lucy Leavitt and Nicholas Leavitt. Also survived by many other loving relatives and friends.

Visiting hours at the Rogers Funeral Home, 380 Cambridge Street in Cambridge on Sunday, January 2, 2022, from 2:00 to 6:00 pm.

Funeral mass at St. Anthony’s Church, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue in Cambridge on Monday, January 3, 2022, at 10:00 am.  

Janet was the Child Care Director at the YMCA in Cambridge for over 21 years, a former employee of the East End House in East Cambridge and was well known and respected for her commitment and dedication to early childhood care.

Cambridge Massachusetts Covid – 19 guidelines, requires everyone attending MUST wear a mask while in the funeral home and the church.

Social distancing is recommended whenever possible.

Comments   
# Daniella Courban 2021-12-28 22:53
Janet was a warm and loving human being with a special gift for nurturing children and supporting parents. I will never forget her kindness to me when I was a frazzled young working person trying to somehow balance motherhood and my professional life. She always made me feel supported. My deepest condolences to her family.
# Kelly Kacinski 2021-12-28 23:36
I will miss you so much, my friend!! I am so heart broken.
You were always a wonderful friend, a fabulous person, a great support, a great teacher, an amazing director and so special to me.
You now have angel wings.
I love you Kelly xoxo❤
# Allison Zacharek 2021-12-29 08:23
Janet you are gone far too soon. You were completely devoted to your kids at the Y and they loved you. Every day you greeted them with a smile and a question about how they were doing and gave them special attention if they were sad or scared. You were kind and understanding with our daughter Addie when she started in preschool and gave us daily updates on how she was settling in. You were generous with your time and I can’t even remember grow many conversations we had where you offered advice about getting kids to eat veggies, take naps, put on their shoes… all of your love for all of us will not be forgotten. We will miss you every day.
# Omolara & Opeyemi Aw 2021-12-29 10:36
We are still in shock by the news of your passing, Janet, because you were such a warm soul and an angel on earth. In a very short time we interacted with you at the Y, you showed us so much love. When we badly needed a placement for our daughter in preschool, you made sure it happened and always kept the communications very transparent with us. You were always there to give some piece of advice and never hesitated to take ownership for whatever was going on. Your friendship will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Janet till we meet again on the resurrection day.
# Tian and David 2021-12-29 11:04
Janet, you were such a big part of our lives over the last three years. We loved seeing you and chatting every day at the Y. You were funny, no nonsense, warm and caring. The girls loved you and the school you spend so much time building. You took such great care of us.
We already miss you immensely. Our deepest condolences to Kevin and your family.
# Chen Family 2021-12-29 12:13
Our deepest sympathy for Janet's family and friends - she was such an amazingly warm, dedicated and engaged childcare director and person. She made our daughter's transition as smooth as possible, and we so appreciated her efforts to ease her fears and tears each morning. Our daughter shared that Janet was one of her favorite teachers, and couldn't wait to see her again after the holidays. It was clear that this was more than a job for Janet, and her attention and love for each child was so evident, every single day. We will miss you.
# Jack Goneau 2021-12-29 20:27
My Aunt was the jam as a little kid we listened to her 45s in her bedroom. When she was a dj we all lit up at my Aunt Sue & Nick's when she dedicated songs to us. Steve & I were at the YMCA Somerville as kids she always looked out for us. I will miss you every second of everyday Auntie Jannie I wish we had spent so much more time together same as with my amazing uncle Nicky. Life just gets in the way. Does not take away how much love I have for you both. My hearts in pieces all over again. Love you always & 4eva.
# Suzy Feinberg 2021-12-29 22:21
I am heartbroken about Janet. She created a loving, joyful community at the Cambridge YMCA preschool, and had an uncanny understanding of her very young clients. From Janet I learned that there are power dynamics among 4-year-old girls (who knew?) and that too many Elsa-costumed girls was sure to cause trouble and tears. I am probably among the many parents who found comfort seated across from Janet in her office, listening to her sage advice and enjoying her laughter. Janet, I will miss you dearly and my heart goes out to your family and friends.
# Sarah Morris 2021-12-30 10:37
Janet is beloved in our household as an understanding, kind, warm, and insightful person who helped our two children grow and thrive from ages 2 to 4. She truly appreciated what was unique and special about each child in the preschool—and what was unique and special in all of the teachers and caregivers, too! She brought empathy and humor in equal amounts to her work. I remember how much she relished having regular "meetings" with our youngest child, who frequently came into Janet's office for long talks (and to receive stickers from Janet's stash). And we loved that when our kids "graduated" from the Y, she still stayed in touch. It is unfathomable that she is gone. We miss her terribly.
# Ariel Dowling 2021-12-30 14:14
Janet, you have been a wonderful teacher to our children for the past 4 years and we will sorely miss you. You've helped nurture both our girls' love of learning, fair play, and excitement about school. Your warmth and kindness made the preschool and after school a special place for our children. They always loved getting big hugs from you, and you knew exactly how to make the tears stop and the laughter begin. Your dedication and nurturing of the YMCA children in their earliest years is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
# The Keenans 2021-12-31 21:29
Janet, you will be so very missed. Thank you for making the Y such a wonderful and special place. Your deep respect and appreciation for every child was always so evident in everything you did. Our own kids are better people for the time they spent in your care, and we thank you for all that you did for our family and the community.
# Toniatti Family 2022-01-01 11:25
We are so saddened to hear about Janet's passing. She was the heart and soul of the children's program at the Y, and we feel so lucky our girls got the opportunity to flourish under her care. She made what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming and scary process--for kids and adults--into something warm and wonderful. We always felt like our daughters were in the best possible place when they were in Janet's care, and every day we see her impact on their lives. We will always be grateful for the love and kindness she showed our family, and we will always carry with us the lessons she taught us. Much love to Janet's family, who she always spoke of with so much pride. Thank you for sharing such a special person with us.
# Jeannie Parkus 2022-01-01 12:02
I am so incredibly saddened. It was a true honor to work with Janet and to see her constantly support and care for all the young children and families who attended her preschool program. Janet was so warm and friendly and full of wisdom and knowledge about early childhood education and family support. I will miss her dearly. I am so sorry and send my love and support to her network of friends and family.
# Tess Ferguson 2022-01-01 21:38
I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Janet. I worked worked with Janet years ago at Catholic Charities. I remember commenting on her pretty nails and she introduced me to her nail technician, from then on we would get our nails done and have lunch.
Please accept my deepest sympathy to her devoted husband, Kevin and her entire family
# Meredith Stoddard 2022-01-02 10:31
Janet's legacy will continue on for generations to come. She ushered both of our boys through 2 years each of preschool and helped to make the after school program that they enjoy so much what it is. Her genuine caring for each of the children in her care as well as for all of the YMCA families and staff is something that has such a positive ripple throughout the community. We're so fortunate to have crossed paths with her and our hearts break for her family and team who now have to find their way in the world without her. We're lucky to have had her in our lives and know that she will live on in many ways through all of us. - Meredith, Mike, Devon & Cole
# Shen-Aykroyd Family 2022-01-02 11:50
We were so saddened to hear of Janet's passing. Janet did so much to keep the Y a critical lifeline for the children of Cambridge to have a safe, loving, and welcoming place. She worked tirelessly on behalf of our kids, and we are so appreciative of all her dedication, kindness, and hard work. Being able to come to the Y during the pandemic made all the difference for our son, and we imagine that many families share this feeling. Thank you so much for making our community a better place. Our thoughts are with her family during this incredibly difficult time.
# Jackie Hayes 2022-01-02 11:58
Janet was a kind and wonderful person who built an amazing program for children. We joined during the pandemic and were thankful everyday for Janet's guidance and kind heart.
# Gerlinde Hossain-End 2022-01-02 17:19
Janet was a well respected colleague and I had the privilege of getting to know her through the Cambridge and Somerville director's groups. She was so dedicated to the children and families and her work in the field of early childhood education. I am deeply saddened by the news of her passing on. My heart goes out to her family and all who knew and loved her. Her legacy will live on in our hearts.
# The Daltons / Kwons 2022-01-02 21:38
As parents of a child currently at the YMCA preschool, we have been so privileged to benefit from Janet's warmth, immense patience and grace, and thoughtful leadership. She expressed genuine care, respect, and dedication to our son and his classmates, and we always felt so well-supported as parents. We mourn with Janet's family and community and will hold her close.
# Juliana Ramírez 2022-01-03 05:15
We are so very sorry to hear of Janet's passing. Our son Hugo attended the children's program at the Y from 2017 to 2019. We have very fond memories of our time in Cambridge and at the Y and talk often with Hugo about his time, teachers and friends there. My condolences to Janet's family and all the teachers at the Y.
# Michael Sullivan 2022-01-04 14:11
Janet was a friend from grammer school cummings and all the way to high school somercville high 1980. It is a great loss and my prayers are with the Belanger famiuly. God Bless

Cummings School class of 1974 (K - 6)
southern Jr. High class of 1977 (7 - 9)
Somerville High class of 1980 (10 - 12)

michael Sullivan
# Agathe Robisson 2022-01-04 17:44
Our dearest condolences to Janet's family and friends.
Both our children spent their preschool years at the Y with the team led by Janet. We feel so grateful that they could spend their first critical years in an environment where both love and respect were abundant, where children learned to live with each other so happily. Janet will be dearly missed.
# Samson Timoner 2022-01-04 22:20
We feel blessed that two of our children were in preschool with Janet.
She was incredibly caring of the teachers, of the students, and of the parents.

Some memories of how much she cared:
* On a snowy day years ago, she told me that her job was to help parents. If she could stay open, she absolutely would.
* I asked her for parenting advice several times, and she was always happy to provide it. I was grateful.
* It was rare that teachers left. But, when a teacher left, more than once Janet told me: It was a great opportunity for the teacher and we (Janet and the teacher) agreed she should take it.
* Nearly every morning during drop-off, I would see her talking to one of the children. She seemed to always know the magic to get them to smile again.

I'm going to miss her.
# Rachel Liao 2022-01-06 10:06
Janet's dedication to the children of Cambridge and the greater Boston area was unparalleled. She oversaw the warmest, most loving and community-oriented space for children to learn and grow that I have ever experienced, and made parents like me feel so happy knowing that my children were being cared for in such a wonderful place and with wonderful people. She was one in a million and will be deeply missed. I will always be thankful for being part of the community that she created while my kids were in preschool at the Y from 2016 to 2019.

With deepest condolences for her family and all who loved her.
# The Ramahlos 2022-01-06 11:07
It was such a joy to see how much the kids (and parents) loved her and the passion she put into her work every day. She always had a kind word and would really go out of her way to help the children and parents thrive. I am glad we got to cross paths, she will be missed.
# Jen and Philip 2022-01-10 13:20
Our condolences go out to Janet’s family and all of the people whose lives Janet touched. We were grateful that both of our children grew up in Janet’s preschool, with her no-nonsense wisdom about children and families. Though Emi and Herbie are 8 years apart, when we returned, the preschool felt as much like home as when we had left 5 years earlier, because Janet set such a nurturing, attentive, safe, and fun tone for the teachers, children, and families alike. May Janet’s memory be a blessing to us all. ~ Jen, Philip, Emi, and Herbie
# Jen and Philip 2022-01-11 08:32
Our condolences go out to Janet’s family and all of the people whose lives Janet touched. We were grateful that both of our children grew up in Janet’s preschool, with her no-nonsense wisdom about children and families. Though Emi and Herbie are 8 years apart, when we returned, the preschool felt as much like home as when we had left 5 years earlier, because Janet set such a nurturing, attentive, safe, and fun tone for the teachers, children, and families alike. May Janet’s memory be a blessing to us all. ~ Jen, Philip, Emi, and Herbie
# Becca Lester 2022-01-18 16:15
We were heartbroken to hear about Janet passing. We are deeply grateful that our kids have been in the care of Janet and her wonderful staff for preschool and afterschool. She created such a warm, rich, and supportive community at the Y, which has been a home away from home for our kids, and a grounding force and source of community (especially during COVID) for our whole family. I'll always appreciate the special attention Janet gave to every child at the YMCA and the thoughtful guidance she shared with me as a parent on many occasions. It truly meant so much. We loved and will deeply miss Janet. We are holding her family and all the YMCA teachers in our hearts during this time.
Becca, Ryan, Amelia, Jack, & Nana Lester
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