BIG BEND

Janis Elaine Villa (nee Robinson)

Jan. 18, 1950 - July 2, 2007

Janis Elaine Villa (nee Robinson), 57, died of breast cancer at home with her family in Big Bend on Monday, July 2, 2007. Born in Flint, Genesee County, Mich., on Jan. 18, 1950, Janis spent most of her childhood in Russellville, Richfield Township, Mich.

Janis graduated from Davison High School, Davison, Mich., in 1968, where she had been a National Merit finalist, a member of the varsity choir and a German Club exchange student. She attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 1968 to 1970, and that is where she met her future husband, Jesus Jose Villa, of Durango, Mexico.

Janis and Jesus married in Davison on Dec.18, 1970, and then moved to Mexico City, where their son, Jesus V, was born Jan. 25, 1972. They lived in Hacienda Ojo de Agua, Estado de Mexico, from 1972 to 1977. Their daughter Cecilia Elena was born in Mexico City on April 3, 1974. In 1977, they moved to Big Bend. Their daughter Veronica Elisa was born in Waukesha on May 23, 1979.

Janis spent several years as a stay-at-home mom and dedicated time to volunteer work. Janis was a leader of two Girl Scout troops, from 1980 to 1990, and a neighborhood chairwoman for Great Blue Heron Girl Scouts. In 1979, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the Regents External Degree program of the State University of New York (now called Excelsior College), and in 1994 she received her Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She majored in English language and literature, with minors in Spanish and German. Janis taught foreign language at Park View Middle School in Mukwonago from 1990 to 2001.

Janis enjoyed retirement, developing an interest in genealogy, pursuing certification as a medical interpreter, and spending time with her grandchildren. Nothing mattered more to her than family. We are going to miss her.

Janis is the beloved and loving wife of 36 years to Jesus Jose Villa IV of Big Bend and devoted mother to Jesus J. Villa V of Wauwatosa, Cecilia Elena (Alex) Meyer of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and Veronica Elisa Villa of Milwaukee. She is the doting grandmother to four precious grandchildren, Maria Elena, Jesus Jose VI, Rosalia Guadalupe and Miguel Tomas Villa; loving daughter of Arval and Beverley Robinson of Flushing, Mich.; daughter-in-law and comadre of Ing. Jesus J. Villa III of Durango; dear sister of Judy (Don) Smith of Shelby Township, Mich., and Randy A. Robinson of Flushing; sister-in-law of Martha Alicia (Enrique) Halfon of Mexico City; aunt of Enrique Halfon Jr. of Toronto, Monica Halfon of Copenhagen, Denmark, Regan (Gabriel Scannapieco) Smith of Chicago, Sean Smith of Detroit, Adam Smith of Folsom, Calif., Zendon Robinson of Flushing and Astara Robinson of Panama City Beach, Fla.; and the niece of Leon Goodrich, Mary Lena Fairchild and Lenora and Ivan Beasinger, all of Genesee County, Mich.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Charles and Cynthia Pound, Luther Robinson and Lillie Edwards, and by her mother-in-law, Alicia Hernandez de Villa.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 6, at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. A prayer vigil will be held at 5 p.m. A second visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the 10 a.m. funeral Mass on Saturday, July 7, at St. Maryís Catholic Church, 225 S. Hartwell Ave., Waukesha.

Memorials are appreciated to the American Cancer Society, N19-W24350 Riverwood Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188, or to Janisís Bench Fund. This fund will be used to buy a memorial bench inscribed with Janisí name, to be placed at the Wehr Nature Center, where Janis spent many happy hours.

For more information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral Home, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035, or visit www.waukeshafunerals.com to leave an online tribute.

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."