Janet K. Simons

Janet K. Simons

ALBANY — Janet K. Simons was born Nov. 5, 1929, the youngest daughter of Arnold and Emily Keenholts of Altamont.

“She inherited her father’s toughness and love of gardening and her mother’s mischievous good nature and love of playing cards,” her family wrote in a tribute. “Although quite smart, she admitted to focusing more on boys and entertainment as she progressed through Altamont’s elementary and high schools.

“A dedicated life-long Lutheran, she was guided by a storybook case of divine intervention when she met and quickly married Jacob V. ‘Van’ Simons Sr. of East Berne. Over the next several decades, she devoted herself to raising her four children, sometimes augmenting the family’s modest income through part-time secretarial work, with never a complaint and little thought of herself.

“Her husband’s career took the family briefly to Rock Island, Illinois and then to Memphis, Tennessee for several years. Upon her husband’s retirement from civil service, they were able to return to New York, initially living in Richmondville before building their dream home on beautifully wooded family land in East Berne, where Van’s family had once grown hay and pastured dairy cows.

“As her children pursued their adult lives, Janet continued to excel as a caregiver for extended family members needing help toward the ends of their lives. And, when Van fell victim to Lewy body dementia, she nearly exhausted herself in faithfully caring for him at home until his final days.

“At that time, she sacrificed her beloved home to remain near him. This led her to Albany’s Avila Retirement Community, where she lived comfortably and happily through her remaining years following Van’s death.

“Throughout these years, she relished the arrival and growth of many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, by whom she was universally respected and loved. Always upbeat and fun to be with, she was a popular member of multiple game-playing groups, e.g. cards, dominos, bingo, etc.

“She retired from these activities only in July of 2019, when the combined effects of rheumatism, gout, thyroid removal, and a heart condition left her bed-ridden under the care of her two oldest daughters, assisted by Home Hospice. Janet remained fun to talk to through her closing days, resting at peace and well-prepared to embark on the next stage of her eternal life, which she entered on Jan. 24, 2020, at the age of 90.”


Janet K. Simons is survived by her children, Janet  of Albany, Laurie of Tennessee, Jacob Jr. and Carol Simons of Statesboro, Georgia, and Vickie and Tim Staup of Lima, Ohio; sisters-in-law Vaughn of Altamont and Betty Simons of East Berne; and nearly two-score nephews, nieces, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Arnold and Emily Keenholts; her husband, Jacob V. Simons Sr.; her older sister and husband, Laura Margaret and Theodore Beebe; her three brothers-in-law, Hadley, Charles, and Bill Simons; and one grandson, Christian Simons.  

A calling hour will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Helderberg Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1720 Helderberg Trail in Berne. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Altamont in the spring.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones

More Obituaries

  • FEURA BUSH — Karin Ruth Demis wove a large family together with as much care as she wove her unique textiles.

    “She was always very supportive of everything we did,” said her daughter Barbara Lewis. “She was very caring. She loved her big family.”

  • “The true measure of a man is in the lives he touches, the love he gives to others, his kind words, and the way he listens with a humble ear. This was our dad,” wrote Edwin Rosa’s children in a tribute.

  • MEDUSA — Brenda A. Heath died peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. She was 52.

    “She’ll be missed by a lot of people,” said Gerald “Chris” Heath, her husband 0f nearly 32 years.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.