This Memorial website was created in the memory of our loved ones (my two older sisters),Janice Knowlton & Marilyn Knowlton Harding, who were born in Massachusetts on January 08, 1937 and September 26, 1939.
Marilyn passed away on March 9, 2016 leaving a large family and many friends sadly grieving. Marilyn was the widow of the late Charles E. Harding Sr. daughter of the late George and Marjorie Knowlton, sister of the late, Garry W. Knowlton, late Kevin L. Knowlton, late Midgie & Sandra Knowlton and sister of Beverly and of ten children and many grandchildren, grandnieces and nephews, cousins and friends too numerous to name.
Her funeral was attended by a great many mourners and the procession to the cemetery was like that of a famous dignitary with many, many cars.
Marilyn grew up mainly in Beverly, Massachusetts and attended North Shore Community College after being awarded her GED certificate in the 1970's. She attended the two year degree program in Early Childhood ed. but decided to leave school with enough credits for an early childhood teacher aid certificate as she was working at Head Start and caring for a large family and found it daunting to take on the extra schooling needed to complete the associate degree.
Janice passed away on March 05, 2004 and Marilyn on March 9, 2016. We will remember them forever.
This memorial contains first of all, Janice's truth as she knew it. She had a large extended family both blood related and related by love and affection.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words about Janice both here and in the mail.
The last photos of Janice were taken and sent to me by Joan Bergeron in her son and his wife debbi's (Mr. & Mrs. Frank DeMaci's) lovely back yard with a frog ornament she held that she'd brought for Frank.
To Barry, who met Janice once at Disneyland and who posted about her and the Horseshoe Review and about Grad Nite. Please contact me via this site. I would love to have a copy of Janice's page from the OCC yearbook if you can do that for me. I just happened to find your comments on line. I was so upset after losing Janice that I don't remember that we emailed. I don't even still have your email address. Thank you for your kind words about Janice. She was dismissed as a kook by many who never knew the real Jan, a kind and compasssionate individual.
To Berenice Sanchez McKenna aka Bree, Jan's pen pal in the Army, Please contact me by way of this site. I moved and my snail & emails come back undeliverable. I've moved from where you wrote to me before. I finally discovered your email address on this site but my email came back undeliverable.
She was born in Beverly, MA and raised in New England and California. She graduated from Beverly High School class of 1954 and attended Orange Coast College in Orange County, California in the fall semester of 1954.
She was a professional singer who trained for the Metropolitan opera in New York City in the late 1950's. She sang at the Viennese Lantern in Manhattan and other dinner clubs there and appeared in several musical comedys at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, MA in the earlly 1960's.
She moved back to Orange County, California in August of 1969 and stayed there until October when she moved to San Francisco. In San Francisco she met and married Bart Sandberg and they lived there and then in Portland, Oregon. The marriage broke up in April 1973 and she moved back to Orange County finding work as a secretary at Disneyland in late July 1973.
She appeared with the Disneyland Players in their production of The Sound of Music as the mother superior. Each time she hit a high C she received a standing ovation from each and every audience member who attended each of the productions.
She danced in The Horseshoe Review for several seasons. Janice also appeared in The Long Beach Civic Light Opera and at The Forum Theater at California State University in Fullerton where she entertained many times. She appeared on stage there with Comic George Gobel in 1985.
She sang for a number of years at the former Mario's Italian Dinner Restaurant in Corona Del Mar and The Five Crowns Dinner Restaurant with The Showcase Singers, a group which she helped found and which continues.
She owned and operated a public relations business for many years in Orange County and performed with Broadway Plus and pianists Betty Wooldridge and Don Chatfield . She was a published poet and writer.
She was a fine artist, turning out many beautiful oil paintings and pen and ink drawings over the years. She co-wrote Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer with Mike Newton . She was a generous, kind and loving individual and also was a humanitarian who sang to raise money for various causes, such as Childrens' Hospital and The Humane Society in Orange County, California.
She had a large family and many friends whom she treated as family and a cat named Suki.
She leaves her brother Garry, sisters Marilyn and Beverly, Step sisters, Jolane and Donna, cousins Gail Bolam, Ronld O'Rourke, Larry Tighe Jr., Mary , Chris and Kenny Tighe, Brenda Walton, Joyce Clohecy, Richard Larivee, Don & Ray Goucher, Diane Foley, Donna Sopp, Deborah, Darcy Jutras, Don Jr. and David Knowlton and many other family members and friends which include Joan Bergeron, Alma and Bill De Smith, Linnea Freeman, Ellie Rosenbaum, LLoyd Battista, Laurie Jacobson, T.C. Paulinkonis, the late Marianne Prokop Bagg, Yvonne Hyatt, Shirley Hyatt, Mary & Eli Rabkin, Florence Rothmel, Joan Noble Pinkham, Michelle Koldsbaek, Robin Berg, Jacque De Rive,r Daniel, Barry & Arlene Solomon, Her former husband Bart Sandberg, her godchild Kayla Smith and her parents Ray and Sheryl and numerous other friends and family members.
She was predeceased by her parents George and Marjorie Knowlton, a stepmother Kathleen, a brother Kevin, and sisters Midgie and Sandra, Interment was in the Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster California.
What her final emails reveal
Before she died Janice told a friend by email that she believed she would have to have her cat put down because her cat had chronic kidney infections. She told a friend living close by that she believed she would have to have her cat put down because she may have to be hospitalized for depression for a lengthy period of time or maybe forever. This friend told me that Janice's cat was not ill with chronic kidney infections so Janice apparently told her friend in Oregon a falsehood.
She her email friend that she was frightened and hanging by a thread due to depression. She said she may ALSO have to have her cat euthanized. ALSO?. What did she mean by this, In addition to what ? In addition to uthanizing herself ? This after writing that she would have to have her cat put down, after writing that she was frightened by depression and panic attacks and hanging on by a thread.
She told different stories to different people. She refused to stay over at any one of three friends homes and she refused to be taken to the mental hospital facility by EMTs when she desperately phoned her psychiatrist's fill in for help. She wasn't able to reason clearly. She appears to have, near the end, decided to end her life but to have decided not to let anyone know what she was about to do. She didn't want anyone to stop her. I don't WANT to believe she deliberately killed herself, but I have no choice. There is too much evidence to the contrary.
Janice's psychiatrist, Dr. Adonis Sfera wrote me that because of Janice's good relationship with her long time therapist, Jim Frey and her fairly recent, 6 month, but good relationship with himself that she would have told one or both of them if she meant to end her life. He said later however that although he had no reason to believe she would do that it is still possible because no one knows what her thoughts and feelings were in her final hours.
My sister Marilyn told me that Janice had told her weeks before her death that she had been having a hard time remembering if she had taken her pills for the day and Marilyn told her that if she couldn't remember if she had or not then she shouldn't take them I told that to the coroner who told me in an that Janice had taken huge amounts of various pills before her death which led her and her fellow coroners to conclude that Janice's death wasn't an accident.
Donations may be made in her memory to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention120 Wall Street, 22nd floor, New York, NY 10005 or to Childrens' Hospital in Orange County California.
Janice believed that she gave birth to three children as a young teenager, that she named two of that our father killed, Lily and Vincent and that a third, a girl, was adopted out after the birth at. St. Mary's Hospital in Orange County. She believed she's been a patient there under our stspmother, Kathleen Knowlton's name but there is no concrete evidence that these births occurred. Janice believed that she repressed memories of many events.
My favorite of Janice's poems
I Have Willed This House To You
I walked into a house one day Where lived a friend of mine. Called to him, searched for him, Then waited for a time. After a while, tried and bored, Impatient with the wait, I stood to leave, quite certain that he had confused the date. On a table by the door I saw a note addressed to me. It said;
" Dear Friend, I had to leave, my Dad has called me home. I promised him that I'd obey when He first let me roam, It saddens me That I can't spend the years ahead right here. We've learned from one another and I'll miss you that is clear. The meals we've shared together, The laughter and the tears, The plans we've made are yours now But dear one have no fears. I'm richer now than when we met. I hope you're richer too. Perhaps this will bring you comfort, I have willed this house to you."
I sat there stunned and thought about this message given me. I knew my friend was burdened and had longed to be set free. But how I ached to be with him, traveling by my side, Until my life was over and my last breath was sighed. Instead He'd gone and left me. His father's call was strong. Could the friend that I called brother have been Jesus all along ? I read the note again.
" Dear friend I had to leave, My Dad has called Me home. I promised him that I'd obey when he first let me roam. It saddens me that I can't spend the years ahead right here. We've learned from one another and I'll miss you, that is clear. The meals we've shared together, the laughter and the tears, The plans we've made are your's now but, dear one have no fears. I'm richer now than when we met. I hope you're richer too. Perhaps this will bring you comfort, I have willed this house to you."
_ Janice G. Knowlton
Something that happened to me in art class in December 200 that seems to relate to this poem
Just before Christmas 2008 I sketched an 18'' by ''24 canvas from a slide throwing an image of Bellini's JESUS CARRYING THE CROSS onto it My art professor came into the room and pointed out to my amazement that I had scribbled the word, ROAM in Jesus's hair. I remembered that the word, ROAM repeats itself twice in Janice's poem titled, I HAVE WILLED THIS HOUSE TO YOU. I've posted photos of the entire canvas as well as a closeup of the word, ROAM on this site. 12/04, 2008
other poetry by Janice Knowlton
The Value of Stray Cats
(or, Explaining Chronic Fatigue)
Some days if there were not strays to be fed
I wouldn't get out of bed
Can you get that through your head?
Janice Knowlton 12/11/99
Imbibe: to absorb or take in...
Love cannot be described
It can only be imbibed.
written in February 2004 shortly before Janice's death on March 5, 2004
Anhedonia, You have goan-ee-yah Why you came to me Is a mystery
Something in my brain? P'Raps it was a sprain? I may never know Why you come and go
Hedonism now Is my sacred cow May it stay with me 'Til I'm ninety-three
All the lights are on my depression's gone, You see it in my eyes, and my increased size
Appetite's returned No dessert is spurned Anhedonia, Don't return. EEE-YAH!!!
Anhedonia means clinical depression. Janice's depression returned again with a vengeance and she died soon after she wrote this.
Candle On The Water
This is a time to be a light shining forth from the shore, instead of being swallowed by the sea.
A time to step aside nursing my own wounds, instead of plunging in where I would be another drowning victim joining all the others lost forever on the ocean floor.
There's a time to be a lighthouse showing by example one can finally reach the exit door,
The exit from the hell we lived in all those years, an entrance to a better life on earth.
The door that I passed through can open up for you, and everything it cost me
The following is for J.F.K. Jr, his wife and her sister In Memorium
Fly Home Children
Fly home children Fly straight home now
In the ocean of this life We never met. And now you've left And I'm still here.
Others I've met Others I've lost Others I've loved Have flown home before you.
No womb could keep you No human could save you No machine sustain you No ocean imprison you
Rise up from the water Dry your wings Antennae to the light Fly home children
I await my own flight home Missing you Mourning you I stay but you must go
Fly home children Fly straight home now
_ Janice Knowlton, 1999
Close Enough Is Good Enough
Close enough is good enough,
better than good enough, it's perfect.
That's what I tell myself now,
as I take up a paintbrush,
a felt tip coloring pen and begin creating.
No more ''works of art,''
the word ''work'' stops me cold.
So I uncap a pen and start drawing,
sometimes with left hand, sometimes with right.
And the creation is not a ''finished product,''
but close enough that's good enough...
Oct. 3, 1999
Hidden wounds, like hidden shrapnel
scrape against my soul.
fraying. splaying,tearing till
they leave a gaping hole.
Pack Rat People and other of her poems can be viewed on this site under the title called ''HER LEGACY"...........
Marilyn, died 12 years after Janice in the same month and only a few days later.
Marilyn had a wonderful career as a teaching assistant in the Lynn, Massachusetts Head Start School system which began in 1972 and continued until somewhere in the 1980's or 1990's while she lived in Lynn and Salem, Massachusetts. At some point she left the job and moved to Jaffrey, NH.
Marilyn was the wife of Charles E. Harding Sr. and the mother of Wayne, John, Michael, Charles Jr., Elizabeth, Mark, Julianne, Genie, Sherry and Jennifer.
She was the daughter of George and Marjorie Knowlton.
Marilyn's brothers Garry and Kevin died in 2006 and 1962 and her husband in 1994.
Marilyn is survived by her children, grandchildren, sister Beverly, Stepsisters Donna and Jolane, many nieces and nephews and many friends, too many to count.
Rest in peace Janice / Cindy V. (Acquaintance)
I actually knew Janice around 1995 or so when I was a manager at B. Dalton books in Fullerton. She came to the store and talked to me about her book and showed me her research and even gave me a signed copy of her book when she came out. I felt that ...
Thinking of You... / Debbie DeMaci (Friend)
Jan you were a wonderful person. You brought so much life to the people around you. I remember you coming out to Franks and my home to celebrate my birthday. What a fun and wonderful memory. You climbed up the hill and placed a Pret...
Thinking of you / Jan C. (friend)
What a wonderful tribute this site is to your sister. You must miss her so much. Sending prayers to you and yours.
MY HEART ACHES FOR YOU / RANDY RICH (NONE)
I DID NOT KNOW JANICEBUT I READ HER BOOK AND THE EVENTS DESCRIBED THEREIN BROUGHT ME TO TEARS MORE THAN ONCE.I CAN ONLY SPECULATE WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN 1941-50.NO PERSON SHOULD EVER SUFFER AS MUCH AS JANICE DIDESPECIALLY AT THE HANDS OF A PARENT.JANI...
My heart aches for you and I wish you good journy / Randy Rich (none)
I did not know Janice personallybut I am aware of the hardships life dealt herthere are no other misdeeds a person could suffer that are worse than the misdeeds Janice suffered in her youth.I'm glad that life finally got better for her.Good journey J...
Another Year / Linda Washington (Another ARF )Read >>
My Condolences / Brittany Toadvine (greatful fan )Read >>
Both Jim Frey my therapist and I resided in Westminster, California for a period of our childhood but fifteen years apart.
She lived off of Westminster Boulevard near The Blessed Sacrament church.
He attended the Blessed Sacrament Church.
Each received abusive treatment at the hands of his / her father and repressed most of it.
I thought about these coincidences while in my car listening to a radio interview of a man who wrote a book called; WHEN GOD WINKS. His website is www.whenGodwinks.com
David Statue by Janice Knowlton on Oct. 7, Sat. 2000
On oct. 7, 2000, I spoke to a class at CSUF (California State University Fullerton) on child abuse; One gal kept crying. She's 40, divorced with kids and completing her degree while on welfare. She spaced out at some point in what I shared about my father did to me, and when we spoke later, it turns out she had been treated the same way by a parent. It was so painful still that her mind just "went away," which I suspect is what happens to so many who have "attention deficit disorder."
We spent some time together, even went out to the rear of the building and sat on the "bisected" statue of David, which fell and cracked at a cemetary in Whittier during an earthquake, and was transferred, broken to the campus to illustrate that even when broken, great art is great art, [or something like that.]
What I'm sharing next is graphic so be on guard:
Unfortunately for me, David's white marble body is cracked in half at exactly the place Betty Short's was when I saw my father dissect her white body. Thus, I have been so uncomfortable going near the fallen statue that I have not traveled since, from the campus where I take classes, [Ruby Gerontology Center], to the campus proper, which requires me to see the statue.
With this gal from the class, who looked at a photo I have taped inside my personal copy of my book, showing Betty Short on the morgue table, [a man - Thad Stephan, Ret. LASO ] mailed it to me after I got memories and was investigating to prove them]. She could see the resemblance and because we had developed a rapport, she was able to be with me and we sat on the broken statue and made jokes. A little boy opposite, about 4 with adorable blonde curls, was sitting on part of the statue with his parents and called over to us; "This is David!" I called back; "Yes, It is, he's like Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall...!"
I guess I'll be able to audit some classes, which is allowed in the program I'm part of.
Just thought I'd spook you with that, it being almost Halloween and all.
Janice's "Big Sister"
Shortly after moving to New York, as a young woman, Janice met several other young men and women and they lived in the same residence. One of these, one of many lifelong friends Janice made, was someone who seemed to have been, from that very early time in Janice's life, to have been a person who Janice saw as symbolic of all of the adults in her growing up life who abused her in one way or another, especially with their disapproval.
Time and time again up until only a handful of days before Janice died, she would turn to this friend for advice even though this person may have been, to some degree - in a manner of speaking - poison for Janice's fragile psyche. This was a person, nevertheless who loved Jan and who felt devastated so much by her death that she wrote a memoir about their first meeting and their friendship.
Janice would run to this other young woman for advice and comfort. She copied some of her fashion do's and dont's and how she applied her makeup. These things were resented by Shelly. This was a woman who served as a big sister in a way in Jan's life. She would serve as a sounding board for Janice and would tell her straight out what she thought, even if it sometimes hurt Jan's feelings. I learned a lot that I never knew about the workings of Janice's mind partly because of her. Janice was always more fragile than I knew. I wish I had known that about Jan.
Pack Rat People by Janice Knowlton 1998 Pack rat people were once little people, once
little girls and boys who hid from all the abuse
in their homes under newspapers,
furniture and toys.
Pack rat people may have millions or have no
money at all.
But when they were harmed, no one heard, no
one answered their call.
So they kept collecting this and that, to protect
their hiding place.
It's all over now, the pack rat's dead.
You can clear out the pack rat's space.
You ask: " Poor old bugger, poor old lady,
What happened to them anyhow?"
You don't need to wonder anymore.
WE'RE ALL SPEAKING OUT NOW!
Subject: RHYME: This was based on the true story
of two brothers who became reclusive out of fear
of the city's dangers
Her Friends She was much loved and appreciated and even after death some who never met her in life have read about her here or read her book and have said nice things about her. Thank you to all who have done this. written on April 8, 2006