Smith, Janice Marie (Koshak), 75, of Portage, PA, passed away December 20, 2020 at home after a lengthy, hard-fought battle with COVID-19. Born July 1, 1945, in Portage, PA, the daughter of John and Helen Koshak. Janice is preceded in death by her parents, her son Ronald Jon Smith, her brother Richard Koshak, her Aunt Stephanie Stefanko, Uncle Walter Pikarski, Aunt Dorothy Koshak, Aunt Mary Knepper, Mother and Father-In-Law Angela and Leo Smith, and in-Laws Donald Smith, Tony Smith, and Brenda Smith. Janice is survived, and will be deeply missed by, her husband of 54 years Ronald (“Tubo”); son Christian (Patricia Canavan) and their children Kristyn and Trissa; daughter Jennifer Pinos (Lance) and their children Preston, Nicholas, and Jordyn; brother John (Nancy) Koshak; and son-in-law Jeffrey Rabak. She is also survived by several other in-laws and many nieces and nephews. Janice will always be remembered as a good-hearted woman, and as a proud, dedicated, and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She treasured her entire family, made many sacrifices for them, and embraced every moment she spent with them. She cherished her role as “Nama” to her five grandchildren, and was the happiest in life when she was simply spending time with them, watching them grow, and supporting them in their many extracurricular and scholastic activities. Janice was a member of Holy Family Parish, she was an avid reader, she enjoyed shopping, and she especially loved family gatherings. Throughout her lifetime, Janice was dedicated to the service of others. She was employed as a Medical Technologist at Geisinger Medical Center and then at the former Portage Family Medical Practice. She later was employed by Mount Aloysius College as a Biology/Medical Lab instructor and the Clinical Education Coordinator of their Medical Technologist Program. During her time at the Mount, Janice also spent her days off serving as a substitute science teacher for many local high schools. After finishing her career at Mount Aloysius, but still not ready to fully retire, she once again returned to the service of others and accepted employment as a Family Support Specialist with The Alternative Community Resource Program where she worked with troubled youth and their families. She retired in 2009. Janice was a 1963 graduate of Portage Area High School, a 1967 Bachelor of Science graduate in Medical Technology from The Pennsylvania State University and also earned a Medical Technology Certification from the Geisinger Medical Center. Twenty years later, in 1988, Janice returned to academia and fulfilled her lifelong dream of earning her Teaching Certification in Biology from Saint Francis College. In 1990, she completed her Masters of Education Degree from Saint Francis College. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, arrangements will be held for immediate family members only at the Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, PC, Portage at 9:00am on Saturday, December 26 with a funeral mass to follow at Holy Family Parish, Portage.
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