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Janet F. Patrick

June 10, 1931 January 20, 2021
Janet  F.  Patrick
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Obituary for Janet F. Patrick

A celebration of Janet's life will occur on

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Public Viewing only: 9:00 -10:00 a.m.

Wood Funeral Home, Inc.
5537-37 West Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa. 19131

Family Private Moments


Janet Patrick was born in Philadelphia, Pa, on June 10, 1931, to Warren Freeman and Rebecca Richards Freeman. She was the third of five children, Richard (deceased), Reginald (deceased), Marion and Irma.

Janet loved to educate herself and others. She attended Philadelphia High School for Girls, graduating in 1948. Upon graduation, Janet applied for a position at Bell Telephone, and, to her surprise, made history by becoming ‘Ma Bell’s’ first African American operator.

In 1957, Janet graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s in education, and obtained a position with the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary school teacher. She enthusiastically pursued her lifelong passion for educating and nurturing the lives of young people. To this day, we encounter former students who remember and praise her for the education, as well as life lessons, she provided.

Janet retired from the School District of Philadelphia in 1986, after over 30 years as an educator. During that time she earned a Master of Education from Temple University, achieved the position of Career Development Specialist, and spear-headed the formation of the School Districts’ first Career Development Laboratory.

Janet was blessed to have experienced two happy marriages. She married Dunbar G. Thompson, Sr. in 1957, who sadly and suddenly passed away in 1969. Their union produced two children, Dunbar Jr., and Dianne. In 1976, Janet married her second soul-mate, Jesse Patrick, fondly known as “Pat”. The two shared a joyful, loving marriage until Pat’s passing in 2006.

Janet loved life, and pursued many interests. She was an avid bridge player, enjoyed gardening, traveled extensively, and participated in numerous organizations, including The Twigs, Inc., and the NAACP, and was very active and influential in local politics.

Janet loved people and was loved in return. Growing up, all of our friends called her their “second Mom”. Her friends and colleagues are too numerous to count. Janet’s loving heart and beautiful smile made it easy to take her sometimes hard advice. Her words of wisdom were sought after, and positively impacted all who were fortunate to receive them.

Above all, Janet loved the Lord, and was a true woman of faith. She worshiped at St. Thomas African Episcopal Church for the majority of her life, and diligently served the Daughters of the King, the prison ministry, the Angel Tree ministry, and others. However, her most cherished ministry was teaching Bible Study. As Mom’s health began to fail, she joined Bethel AME Church in Bryn Mawr. There, she continued teaching the Bible and served on the student aid and lay organizations. Words cannot express our gratitude for the many ways in which Mom’s church families embraced and cared for her during her illness. You were all such a tremendous blessing!

At the time of her passing, Janet maintained her home of over 50 years in Bryn Mawr, Pa. She is survived by her two children; Dunbar and Dianne, two sisters; Marion Cooke and Irma Dillon, four nephews; Reginald Freeman, Jr., Steven Freeman, Douglas Freeman and Victor Cooke, three grandnieces; and grandnephew, a large extended family and a host of close friends, and colleagues.


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Cemetery Details


Rolling Green Memorial Park Final Resting Place

1008 West Chester Pike
West Chester, PA 19382

1008 West Chester Pike West Chester 19382 PA
United States

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