Janice Rath loved her grandchildren, said her mother, Ruth. “She loved people. She loved kids. She lived life to the fullest.” That is how all of us, among her family and loved ones, wish to remember her, as someone so full of love, as someone taken far, far too soon.
Janice Rae Rath, 59, of Mt. Pleasant, died suddenly and unexpectedly Sunday, March 22, 2020. Born September 1, 1960, at Uniontown Hospital, Janice Rae Dye was the second of three children to Raymond Kenneth Dye and Ruth Anna Witt Dye. While still a student at Connellsville High School (Class of 1978), she began working as a caregiver, and there found a passion for helping others that she would revisit and cultivate throughout her life. She studied development and family services at Penn State, and went on to work for social service organizations including the Arc of Fayette County, the Pennsylvania Board of Education Intermediate Unit 1, and Fayette Resources. In more recent years, she took work closer to the Mt. Pleasant home she shared with her mother, enjoying her job as a cashier at County Market at the Countryside Plaza. When County Market closed its doors in late summer 2019, she soon found work at the Mt. Pleasant Shop ’n Save. Amid all that, she discovered a flair for sales with her boutique operation, “Jan’s Purse Outlet,” at local flea markets.
The above in no way sums up the life of Janice Rath, whose family was her true and central passion. Born with a congenital heart condition, she persevered with the love and care of her parents and went on to raise four children, all who, along with seven grandchildren, survive her: Her oldest is Erin (Shallenberger) Marrero, with husband, John, and their children, Gunner and Ronin, of Hope Mills, North Carolina. Her second eldest is Justin Shallenberger, with wife, Devon, and children, Julius, Jasmine, and Jackson, of Washington, Pennsylvania. Her second daughter and third-born is Heather (Rath) Heald, with husband, Steven, and children Veronica and Clara, of Connellsville. Her youngest is Wayne Rath of Everson. She is also survived by her mother, Ruth Anna Dye, her sisters, Jacqueline A. Zeissler of Arizona and Anita Dye of Missouri, her children’s fathers: James Rath of Everson and Rickie Shallenberger of Scottdale, her companion, Dominic Di Donne of Somerset, her beloved dachshund, Daisy, and many relatives. Her father, Raymond Dye, predeceased her in 2010. Janice Rath’s warm, calming presence won her many friends who are celebrating her life with us as we grieve her loss.
Services and interment will be private and open only to immediate family under the care of GRAFT-JACQUILLARD FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, INC. 303 Pittsburgh Street, Scottdale. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in care of the funeral home to help defray funeral expenses. To share a message of sympathy please visit www.gjfuneral.com