Janice Ann (Perry) Baldwin was born in Houston, Texas on February 26, 1942. Her parents Lewis Lee Perry and Ida Wilma (Gates) Perry and her brother, Richard Lee Perry preceded her in death. Because her ancestral family was one of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred” who settled the territory on the Brazos River that would later become the Republic of Texas, she was proud to be a Daughter of the Texas Republic. After a brief time in San Diego, California, where her father was posted with the U.S. Navy during World War II, the family moved back to Houston where she lived and went to school. She attended elementary school in South Houston and was salutatorian of her graduating class at Jesse Jones High School in Houston, Texas. She was awarded a scholarship to the University of Corpus Christi (Texas) where she was graduated as valedictorian in 1964 with majors in biology and mathematics and a minor in English. She served as secretary for the faculty of the Department of Religion at UCC and also met her future husband, Charles M. Baldwin. Upon graduation from UCC in 1964, she and her husband accepted teaching positions at Earth-Springlake High School where between the two of them, they taught all the mathematics offerings from the 7th grade to the 12th grade. In the fall of 1965, she began a 4-year tenure teaching mathematics at Hutchinson Junior High School in Lubbock, Texas while her husband completed work on his PhD in Chemistry at Texas Tech University. During her last year at UCC, she gave birth to their first of two wonderful, talented daughters, Lisa Renee. Seven years later on December 29, 1970, their home would be blessed with another daughter, Michelle Denise.
After moving to Jackson, Tennessee in 1970, she taught science first at Bells Junior High School in Bells, Tennessee, then at Episcopal Day School in Jackson until the family moved back to Texas in 1981 to care for infirmed parents. There she taught science at Early Middle School (1981-1983) before moving to Plainview, Texas where she taught science at Ash 6th Grade School (1984-1988) to classes that spanned the spectrum of opportunity in rural Texas. During her time in Texas, she earned the designation Master Teacher held by less than 0.5% of teachers in Texas. In 1988 the family returned to Jackson, Tennessee where she joined the faculty of the newly constituted University School of Jackson (USJ) formed from the merger of Episcopal Day School and Old Hickory Academy. She taught 7th and 8th grade honors math and served as the mathematics department head until her retirement in 2012 concluding a teaching career that spanned 48 years. During her tenure at USJ, she served as Math Counts coach for middle school teams that garnered a multitude of awards at regional and state contests. For several years, she also served as the lead planner, organizer and guide for 8th grade study trips to Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois, and Hannibal, Missouri. Always the student, she attended numerous professional development seminars and workshops including “The Brain and Learning” Institutes in Boston, MA. She was a voracious reader, often devouring 2-3 books per week. When grandchildren came to visit during summers, among the many activities that Mimi planned for them were art and soccer camps, tennis and swimming lessons, and of course, reading books including the whole set of Harry Potter books which were often read together.
Her ways and words were soft and gentle, never harsh or coarse. Janice possessed a heightened sense of fairness that extended even to ensuring that each family pet (Doxies) got an equivalent amount of love, food and treats. She was motivated to thoughts and actions of love and excellence. Even in a challenged state of thought and consciousness, she was always concerned for the well being of others, thinking of them before she thought of herself. Her love for her students was unsurpassed, leading her to celebrate enthusiastically their accomplishments while sharing their disappointments and encouraging them with hope for a better future. And in our home she inspired us to use kind words and share, to dream big and have fun, and to create good memories. We were encouraged to smile and laugh a lot and use our polite words: sorry, thank you, please, yes/no ma’am, and yes/no sir. And above all we were required to keep our promises; tell the truth, and love, even those who may be deemed unlovable by others. She was an angel among us!
Immediate family members who remain and treasure the memory of Janice are Dr. Charles M. Baldwin (husband) of Jackson, Tennessee, Dr. Michelle D. Baldwin (daughter) and partner Chase Ames of Jackson, Tennessee, Dr. Lisa R. Linton (daughter) and husband Steve Linton of Bethel, Ohio, Jenna M. Galletta (granddaughter) and fiancé Taylor Boyd of Kansas City, Missouri, Abby S. Galletta (granddaughter) of Jackson, Tennessee, Nicholas G. Galletta (grandson) of Jackson, Tennessee, and Gary Galletta (father of Jenna, Abby, and Nicholas) of West Chester, Ohio.
The family expresses deep gratitude to those who gave loving care to Janice in the days leading up to her loss. At the top of that list are cosmetologists Carrie Repp and Janelle Waddell, a dear close friend who did her hair twice a week for over thirty years. Others who endeared themselves to Janice and her family include Lori Shelton, Angie Arrington, Katelynn Pope, Casandra Harrison, Mona Carpenter, Elizabeth James, and Norma Le. Special thanks and appreciation is showered on the highly competent and compassionate nurses at Avalon Hospice, particularly Farrah Lewis, Nicole Agee, and Robin Wood.
The family is requesting that memorials be directed to the Janice Ann Baldwin Middle School Mathematics Scholarship Fund, c/o USJ, 232 McClellan Road, Jackson, TN 38305 or online at usjbruins.org or to the Charles and Janice Baldwin Endowment Scholarship Fund, c/o Chemistry Department, 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson, TN38305 or online at uu.edu.org.
SERVICES: A funeral service will be held at 3:00 PM Thursday, April 14, 2022, in the chapel of Arrington Funeral Directors, with Dr. Bob Agee officiating. The family will be receiving friends on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the funeral home.
Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305 731.668.1111 www.arringtonfuneralgroup.com