Woods_janet_-_orig_photoJanet Irene Woods (nee Livingstone)

1922 - 2012

Peacefully in Carman Hospital and while holding my hand, my mother Janet passed away February 26, 2012. Mother spent eight days in the hospital surrounded by her loving family.

Janet was predeceased by her husband of 40 years Robert Raymond Woods (1983), and her son Fredrick Angus Woods (1971), by her father Campbell Livingstone (1964), her mother Kate McMillan (1969), her brothers Angus and Lorne Livingstone. Janet is survived by; her son Larry Woods (Doreen), her daughter Sherry Dolyny. Grandchildren; Gary Woods (Carolyn), Ricky Woods (Cheryl), Kelly Woods (Robyn), Tonya Dolyny (Tom). Great grandchildren; Holly, David, Mathew, Wesley and Jacob.

Janet Irene Livingstone, a Scottish Girl, was born in a farm house near Stony Croft School, where her parents, Campbell and Kate Livingstone lived. That was on September 30, 1922.

Janet was the youngest of three children, having two older Brothers to look after her and teach her things. Things like Music.

At a young age and at a time when there was no radio or even a television, the people still had to have entertainment. Weekend dances at the school or in a neighbour's barn was where it happened.

Janet was a little girl, in the nineteen twenties, when her Brothers, Angus and Lorne played their music. She sat beside the band, sometimes keeping time to them and other times just sleeping.

They played for very little money, maybe a dollar per night to share between them. Sometimes, they played for nothing!

At a dollar a night, they saved as much as they could. And not all at once. They borrowed instruments to play and eventually bought their own.

The Band was known as the "Tune Twisters". Angus bought a Fiddle, which I think we still have. Janet bought a Guitar, and I own that, now. We do have the instruments cases, and the name "Tune Twisters" is still on them, in English lettering.

Everyone knows about the "dirty thirties", the hard times! The times when people had no money and in a lot of cases, there was no food for the work animals, let alone, the people who owned them.

Stony Croft School District was near Bulyea, Saskatchewan. Mother has told us about eating Dandelions and Thistles, just to get something in their bellies. She also recalled when you looked up to the sky and you could see nothing but Locusts, you know, Grasshoppers !!

Mom said those things were also hungry. Those Grasshoppers even ate the paint off of their house and barn.

Now I'm not sure how the Dirty Thirties affected Manitoba. I should know. I was born here and I heard the stories, but I didn't remember them.

Mother finally had enough of being poor in Saskatchewan. She also didn't want to take food away from her family without contributing back to them.

I'm not sure if she found an add in a paper or just came here on speculation. But Janet came to Homewood Manitoba and she went to work for the Downs Family, that is Mike and Jim Downs's Mother and Father. She worked as a "Hired Girl", doing what she could to keep the house running, feeding the field workers and what-ever chores that could be done in and out of the house to help out. She worked there for three years.

Then, Janet fell in love with the "Handsome" Bob Woods, a neighbour of the Downs Family who had a farm over next to Brigdenley School. She chased him ruthlessly until he couldn't outrun her anymore. The rest of that story, we pretty well know. Larry, Fred and Sherry.

Mother was always a hard worker and I do know that she picked that habit up from her Mother, Kate Livingstone. The farm was not very big, not for a growing family. And it was decided that some extra cash was needed, you know like to buy clothes and food, stuff that they didn't have enough of.

Art Hand, in Carman knew that Janet was looking for work and he drove out to the farm and suggested to her that she come to work for him, at his Insurance business, in town.

I'm not sure what year that was that Mom went to work for him, but Allan Patterson also worked out of Art's office. She also did some typing work for Allan, who was doing Carman School work. Allan Patterson had a chance to move on and he asked Janet if she would go to work for him, full time. Mother was confused, she was dedicated to Art Hand for giving her the job, but she also liked working for Patterson. She sat down with Art, one day and discussed it with him.

Mr Art Hand was the Gentleman of Nice people and he told Mother that she should do what she felt she should. Art said he would recommend Janet to anyone !!

She moved over to the School and stayed there for thirty-three years, until she retired at the age of 70 years old.

Mom also had a very close friend, Marge Nelson. Every year, at fair time, Mother would take her holidays and with her buddy, Marge, and they both "literally" ran the Carman Fair, from the office. They would put in twenty hour days at the Arena, then Mom would come home and when she should be going to bed, she would be working on "Garden" stuff that Dad had picked that day. Couldn't let it go bad, you know?

Music was still her major thing. Mom and Marge played for everybody around here. They played in Hotels and at Dances. She played for Carm Colvin, She played with "Sliver" Gibson, The Heamans, Milt Woods, and others.

Mom and Marge played with Fred Walker. Then one day, Fred died. The band was almost dissolved, but they wanted to keep it going. They did. They were billed at the Ryall Hotel as "Janet and the Boys", a name that Mom wasn't too fond of. She thought that it sounded like she was a "Hooker"!

Janet Woods, in my opinion, had a very successful life. After she retired, it was discovered that she had a Brain Tumour.

Non Cancerous, she had it removed, back in 2002. Janet spent most of her time, after that, just enjoying her retirement. Sitting in her chair, watching DVD Movies. Everybody would ask, "Where is Janet? We never see her out anymore!" Don't forget that this Girl also put in a lot of time with the Eastern Star, that is the Ladies side of the Masonic Lodge, which Dad was a member of. Janet also sang with the Sonatrice Singers, She was very active in the Carman Legion, both on the Ladies and Auxiliary and on the Legion side. She was on the Legion Colour Party for many years.

After she retired, she learned to play the Saxophone with Fran Phillips and another lady, but she would never take my advice and learn Rock 'n Roll. Can't you just see Janet and Boots Randolf blowing out "Yakety Sax?"

Mother played the Guitar, the Fiddle, the Banjo, the Piano, and the Saxophone.

This is a Lady who did it all, at least, in my opinion.

We LOVE YOU, MOM !! Always will. You were an incredible act to follow!

Catch Ya'll Later

Larry & Doreen, Sherry and all of the Grand Kids

Gary, Ricky, Kelly, Tonya and all of their kids,

Holly, David, Mathew, Wesley, and Jacob

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful doctors and nurses in the palliative care unit of the Carman Memorial Hospital who took exceptional care of Janet and all of us during such a difficult time.

Donations in lieu of flowers to the Carman and Area Foundation.

A private funeral service was held at Janet's request.


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Doyles Funeral Home
Hwy. 3&13 10-4th Avenue SE, Carman, MB
Phone:  204.745.2045 | Fax: 204.745.2499