Janet Ann Dean-Trotter
Born: March 22, 1939
Died: April 29, 2018
From: Murray Bridge
Daughter of Evelyn and Frederick Johnston
Sister to Freddie (deceased), Sharon
Janet Dean-Trotter had a tough early life growing up during World War II.
She lost her father in 1942 in a truck crash at Warradale while in the service but not having served overseas.
Brother Freddie was born three or four months after his father’s death, leaving their mother with a three-year-old and a newborn to raise during the war.
Her mother struggled to earn a living, look after the children so Janet was sent off to the Church of England Girls Home for a few months.
Sadly Freddie died due to tetanus at the age of 10, a brother Janet had loved and helped raise.
Janet still struggled talking about Freddie, even recently, and people could hear in her voice and see in her tears the love she had for him.
The family moved around Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills wherever work was to be found for a number of years and it was during this time Janet’s mother met Bert Johns.
They later married and went on to have a daughter, Sharon.
Then Janet and her mother contracted polio and both were hospitalised to overcome the disease, which may have led to Janet’s constant battle with back problems throughout her life.
All of these struggles early in Janet’s life made her the woman she was to everyone who knew her as a loving, caring, selfless, strong, independent woman who had a deep love for her family and friends.
Her parents went on to run a guest house, The Coffee Palace, on Sixth Street across the road from the Murray Bridge Town Hall.
This is where Janet not only met her future husband but also struck up a lifelong friendship with Marg Skola.
The friends babysat for each other and worked together for years as all of the kids grew up together.
They all have many fond memories of the times spent together throughout the early years.
Janet married Bob Dean, in 1959 and they went on to have three children, Neil, Robyn and Glenn, who then gave the couple grandchildren, Christopher, Chantel, Cara, Shaun, James, Sofie and Simon.
Then came the great-grandchildren. Chase, Aubree and Khensi.
Janet’s love for all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was unbounded.
She was always so excited to see them and she loved seeing them all before her passing.
Janet helped out in any of the children’s activities, including Scouts and Guides and every sport they plaed.
The couple divorced after about 20 years, later Janet found her soulmate in Paul Allan Trotter and they were together for about 14 years before Allan's passing.
Allan introduced Janet to the Lions club and the Wine and Dine Club in Murray Bridge which she stayed involved with and found many great friends.
The couple travelled regularly and went on holidays all over Australia.
They finally married in 1993 but sadly Allan passed away in 1994.
Janet was devastated as Allan was such a big part of her life and those were very hard times for her.
She travelled overseas a couple of items by herself and with her friends Sandra and Deggy and she was in England around the time there was a terrorist bombing.
A short, plump, lady in a red coat with a small airline bag was seen leaving the scene shortly before the explosion.
The suspect looked like a tourist and Janet fitted the bill perfectly.
Her plane was held up while armed guards escorted her off the plane and interrogated her under a heavily armed guard presence.
Janet was scared and terrified even more so as she was travelling alone.
She was eventually placed back on the plane and allowed to resume her holiday – all she could talk about was how embarrassing it was.
After Allan's passing Janet became involved in the Uniting Church.
The support and friendship she found through the Church was amazing.
Mum's faith in Jesus and knowing she was going to Heaven was instrumental in the decisions on her life and how she wanted to go.
Janet had struggled with ill health over the last few years and the Church was always there for her.
The support and prayers by the Ministers, Darren and Frances, and the congregation was uplifting.
Janet worked in many places and in many different roles.
She worked in the Murray Bridge council, roadhouses, the TAB and the library where she spent the last 25 years of her paid working life.
She resumed studies during this time and became a librarian – a proud moment for her and her family.
Janet picked up a very special award in 2006 being the Senior Australian of the Year for the Murray Bridge council.
She did a lot of good for the community over a number years and received many awards and recognition and she always proudly shared them with her family and friends.
One of her proudest moments was her campaign to get a second kidney dialysis machine for the Murray Bridge hospital.
Janet campaigned to the council and politicians and fought hard and won the battle so her grandson Christopher, and many others, did not have to travel to Adelaide.
Sadly Janet passed away peacefully on April 29 at the Murray Bridge hospital.
She will be sadly missed by all of her family, friends, congregation, fellow volunteers and probably just about anyone who knew her.
Vale Janet Dean-Trotter.