Janice Grant, a long-serving member of the York University community, spent many of her working years in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She had recently retired and sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly on Jan. 17 at her home in Toronto. She was 66 years old. Joanie Cameron Pritchett, manager of the Sexual Violence Response Office, and a close friend of Ms. Grant, offers the following tribute:
Janice Grant was a wonderful colleague and friend to many people at York University since commencing her career on April 1, 1974. She was an advocate for human rights, specifically worker rights, as she was very active in the York University Staff Association (YUSA).
Janice was involved in YUSA from the very beginning and was always ready to share a story of how the union originally organized at the University and/or even some of the more memorable moments such as the time that she served as a picket captain in the 1987 YUSA strike. She also served as the membership officer for the union from 1998 to 2004 and was active on the bargaining committee from 199 to 1998 as well as in 2000. She served as the Chair of the Bargaining Committee in 1997 and 2000. Throughout these years she was a strong voice on the YUSA Executive Board where she helped us shape how the union orientates new members and the ways that the union could seek improve the working lives for all YUSA members even after she retired on Jan. 7, 2014.
More than anything, Janice was a wonderful ambassador for York University. She was always passionate but more importantly she was compassionate towards anyone that needed support, guidance or just a person to share with. She was a fierce advocate and had a strong voice for the important issues that affected our most vulnerable.
Janice was a person that lived life to fullest – she was always ready to share her home with International students that needed a loving home away from home and she maintained contact with the many students that came from abroad that thought of her as a second mom, even as recent as last year when she attended the wedding of one of her former students.
She also shared many stories with colleagues of her trips to fun places in the sun with her loving family, especially the often pool-side adventures with her sisters, whom she always spoke so fondly about.
She was equal parts passionate about her work at the University as she funny and whimsical with her scooter and multi-coloured hair and glasses. She was ready to discuss politics anytime, both internal to York University or external about the world around us and then flip the discussion to talking about shoes, fashion, hair or anything that we could laugh at ourselves about.
She was a force and a great person and she will be dearly missed in the community – above all us, Janice believed in the capacity of our community – she was and always will be a committed pioneer within YUSA and will forever be a “Yorkie.”
Janice will be lovingly remembered by her twin sister Judy (Ron), sisters Lynda and Lois and brother Greg (Carol) and her nieces and nephews Jennifer (Joe), David, Dave (Jenn), Catharine, Carolyn, Heather and Andrew, and great nieces and nephew Hailey, Jozsi, Lily and Chiara.
Visitation was held at the Jerrett North York Funeral Home 6191 Yonge St. (South of Steeles Ave.) on Sunday, Jan 21. The funeral service will be held in the chapel on Monday, Jan. 22 at 1pm.
In memoriam donations in Janice’s name can be made to Animal Aid & Adoption P.O. Box 53081-10 Royal Orchard Blvd., Thornhill, Ontario L3T 7R9 or through www.canadaheps.org.