November 19, 2018

Janet Williams

Janet Williams, a past president of City of Hope’s auxiliary division, Gems of Hope, died on Feb. 9, 2003. She was 84.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Williams attended the samegrammar school as her husband, Bernard. Her sister, Roslyn, and Bernie were inthe same class. However, Bernie and Janet did not get acquainted until theywere adults, even though he recalled with fondness that he noticed a littlegirl running across the school playground with a violin case tucked under herarm.

Following the couple’s inevitable first date, Williams camehome and confided in her sister that Bernard was the man she was going tomarry. Indeed, they did in 1948.

In 1951, the couple moved to Los Angeles. By the late 1960s,she became a lead teacher for LAUSD Children’s Centers. Even after retiringfrom Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima in 1984, she continued with theChildren’s Centers as a substitute teacher.

The violin remained a lifelong passion for her. She playedin the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Burbank Symphony, the DowneySymphony, as well as other orchestras and chamber groups in the Los Angelesarea. She performed frequently and taught violin for many years.

In the mid-1980s, Williams joined Gems of Hope, a volunteerorganization for City of Hope Hospital, and ultimately served as its presidentfrom 1988-89.

Janet and Bernie celebrated their 54th wedding anniversarylast September. They were active members of Temple Beth Torah of Arleta, livedin the San Fernando Valley for 50 years and enjoyed traveling to Europe, Hawaiiand the Caribbean.

“She had a high level of energy and was highly creative andhad so many interests in the world, especially music,” said her daughter, Lynn.

She is survived by her husband, Bernie; daughter, LynnSteinberg; son, Ron; grandchildren, Joshua, Nathan and Rachel; and sister,Roslyn Zaslow.