Janet Ball

Our dear mother, Janet Ball, passed away peacefully on May 8th, 2023, at our home on Mercer Island after a 20-year journey with cancer. Mom was a role model who lived her life with kindness, generosity, honesty, a strong work ethic, and endless positivity and resilience. Every day I was inspired by her, and I strive to be as strong and as good of a person as she. Born in 1937 in Aurora, Illinois, during the Great Depression, Mom faced her fair share of challenges from an early age. She married our father, Paul Roit, in 1957, and together they built a life in Markesan WI, where Paul worked in construction and together they ran Roit’s Resort—a bar and cabins on Little Green Lake. It was there me and my siblings Linda and Gregg were born. Unfortunately, Paul passed away very young leaving Mom widowed with three children to care for at age 35. It was a very challenging time. Two years later, she found love again and married Dennis Ball, and our blended family moved to Merrill, Wisconsin. For the next 20 years they built a good life together, but they finally parted ways and again Mom picked herself up and continued forward, building a new and happy life. As a mother, Jan was our biggest fan, always there to support us through life’s highs and lows. Always attending our sporting events, concerts and other special events while growing up, and there to provide guidance and advice as we grew our own families in later years. She was masterful at offering guidance without being overbearing and encouraging us to reach beyond our comfort zones. Mom was our cheerleader, our rock, and always there with love and support. Throughout her career as a legal secretary and executive assistant, Mom left an indelible mark on the organizations she worked for. Her colleagues consistently praised her kind spirit, unwavering professionalism, and dedication to excellence. She had an ability to bring out the best in those around her. Mom loved to have fun. When we were caught in moments of mischief, she would exclaim, “You turkeys!”, as she laughed along. She often said, “I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t able to laugh,” as humor made her whole. Throughout her life, she also evolved her worldview. I was proud to watch her shed negative biases of her early years in favor of a more compassionate and inclusive perspectives later in life. She loved to eat, especially a cold beer, good pizza, hamburgers on the half-bun, broasted chicken, Italian beef sandwiches, liverwurst, and olives. She also loved the color blue, daisies, spy novels, action films, Snoopy, collecting recipes, owls, unstructured road trips, the Container Store, and our dogs Jessie and Yoda. She despised liars and cheaters, overinflated egos, and exercise. Above all else she loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a small circle of very dear lifetime friends. While many in her family lived far away, she talked to them often, wished she could see them more frequently, and thoroughly enjoyed those times everyone could be together. Family was everything.

Mom, thank you for being you. You couldn’t have done it better and you’ll continue to inspire us the rest of our lives. We miss you dearly, and will love you forever, as will everyone you’ve touched in your lifetime. Janet will be forever missed and loved by her daughter Cindy Ball and son-in-law Tim Hunkapiller , daughter Linda Bramer and son-in-law Warne (Craig) Bramer, daughter-in-law Samantha Roit, her late son Gregg Roit, and step-sons Bill Ball and Brian Ball. She was a cherished grandmother and great grandmother to grandchildren Harley Hunkapiller, Abrielle Roit, Nicole Bramer, Christopher and Heidi Kelly, Joshua Kelly and Katelyn Morich, Austin Kelly and Samantha Justine, Ricci and Shane Scott, Warne Bramer Jr., and her great grandchildren Trinity Scott, Charity Scott, Joseph Scott, Talon Bramer, Dakota Bramer, Sierra Bramer, Aliana Schillaci, Ethan Hoffman, Marceline Seidewande, and Clark Bramer Graham who is expected in June. She will also be missed by her in-laws Kathy Roit and Ronald Roit, her daughter-in-law’s brother Matthew Aab, many other family friends, work colleagues, neighbors, and her beloved dog Yoda. She was proceeded in death by her parents, her first husband Paul Roit, and her son, Gregg Roit. 

A Celebration of Life will be held later in the year in Mercer Island, WA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Janet’s name to your local hospice organization or to the American Cancer Society at https://donate.cancer.org. Any inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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