DILLON, JANET T. of Jamaica Plain
Janet Dillon, 69, of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on January 25, 2023, surrounded by her loving daughter and her grandchildren and son-in-law Brayan Mendez. She was blessed with a loving family, devoted friends and appreciative work colleagues whose lives she impacted greatly.
Born in Summit, New Jersey, on January 4, 1954, Janet was the sixth of eight children of James and Jeanne Dillon. From an early age, Janet demonstrated her consideration for others and her generosity, later manifested in her lifelong commitment to working in several nonprofit organizations citywide.
Janet graduated from Oberlin College in 1975, and then earned her Masters degree from Brandeis University. After graduate school, Janet moved to a duplex home in Jamaica Plain in 1987 with her very good friend Janet Berkenfield, who sadly passed away in 2007 which devastated both Janet and her daughter Arthemia (Ani). Janet would continue to reside in her loving home until her very last breath.
Using her education, Janet spent her entire career helping nonprofits with financial oversight, including organizations such as Alianza Hispana. "Janet was a skilled and conscientious friend and colleague. As my accountant at La Alianza Hispana, Janet helped arrest the decline of the agency and fix the problems we faced. Janet was loved and highly respected by everyone.” - Nelson Merced, CEO.
From 1993 to 2000, Janet served as Chief Financial Officer for Victory Programs, Inc.
"Employed at Victory Programs as its CFO during the height of the AIDS pandemic, she was an integral partner in fighting for the rights of the homeless - those affected by two horrific diseases AIDS and addiction- who needed both complex healthcare and a place to call home. Janet's inexhaustible and meticulous forensic accounting skills paved the way for Victory Programs to become one of the most vital AIDS addiction residential treatment agencies in Massachusetts. We admired her intense passion for human rights. We loved her heart, and Janet's was made of gold." - Jonathan Scott, CEO Victory Programs Inc.
In 2000, Janet was named the Chief Financial Officer of Community Servings, an innovative nonprofit organization that each day prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to thousands of people experiencing a range of critical and chronic illnesses. "Community Servings was blessed to have Janet's leadership as CFO for over 20 years, offering us her keen intellect, strong moral compass and passion for social justice. We would not be where we are today without her leadership and strategic direction. And I personally would not be as effective a CEO without her wise counsel, coaching and candor over the years." - David B Waters, CEO
Janet remained in that position as a member of the leadership team until 2022, when she became too ill to continue her duties.
In Janet's memory, the Board of Community Servings recently announced the endowment of the Janet Dillon Scholarship for Professional Development, which will support intensive training in leadership, financial literacy and issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
In addition to her work with organizations, she was a founding member and longtime steering committee member of the Non Profit Financial Managers group, the one organization in Boston geared to meeting the needs of not-for-profit financial managers. The group provides a forum for discussion of the current issues facing non-profit financial professionals.
Beyond her professional career, Janet was a strong, beloved mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, neighbor and friend. Janet brought her characteristic positive spirit to everything she did: such as tending her garden, singing, quilting and contra dancing. Janet was an original & core member of the Gender Role Free Jamaica Plain dance community, founded in September, 1988. She had a huge & lasting impact on the community that lasts to this day. In addition to local dances, she was a regular, along with her daughter Arthemia (Ani) and grandson Avian, at Lavender Country & Folk Dancers dance camps and New England Folk Festival weekends where she shared her love for song and dance.
Janet was known for her practical approach to life's challenges, her sense of responsibility, willingness to work hard and her intelligence. And she always enjoyed cooking, eating, listening to podcasts, Netflix and a good laugh.
Janet is survived by her loving daughter Arthemia (Ani) and Ani's husband Brayan Mendez, her grandchildren Avian, Bryanna, Adriana and Aidacielis, and Janet's seven siblings, Maureen,Bob, Ken, Ray, Paul, Jim and Larry and their families.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 8pm on Tuesday, January 31, at Mann and Rodgers Funeral Home at 44 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain MA 02130. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Community Servings or Victory Programs, whose missions Janet so strongly supported. In the spring her family will arrange a celebration of life to which everyone is welcomed. She will be missed dearly.
Services will be private.
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