AMHERST – Janice Petrella, 76, of Amherst, NH, passed peacefully on February 13th, 2019, with her loving family by her side. Jan was born in Boston, MA in 1942, the daughter of Anna May Wiederkehr and William Patrick McLaughlin. She graduated from Revere High school followed by Bryant and Stratton College. Shortly after graduation, Jan began her career as a legal secretary in Boston, MA where she met many of her lifelong friends. Jan loved to travel and soon thereafter accepted employment working for the United States Information Services in Washington, DC. She was assigned to posts in Quito, Ecuador, New Delhi, India, Kathmandu, Nepal and Kabul, Afghanistan. It was in New Delhi, India that she met her husband, Bob, who worked for the State Department. In 1972 they were married in Boston. Soon after their marriage they took an assignment in Bangkok, Thailand followed by Croughton, England. Having a family didn’t curb their desire for travel. In 1988 Jan, Bob, and their sons Steve and Matt, moved to Camberley, England. In 1991 the family moved back to the United States and settled in Amherst, NH. Their next adventure came when they jumped at an opportunity to move to Newmarket on Fergus, Ireland for two years. Jan and Bob continued their travels over the years and made many memories with family and friends.
Jan enjoyed traveling, cooking for her family and leading a healthy vegan lifestyle. Walking in marathons, obtaining her black belt in Taekwondo, and taking care of all her pets through the years brought Jan much joy. Jan was a member and communicant of St. Patrick’s church in Milford, NH. Jan’s greatest enjoyment in life came from being a mother and grandmother.
Jan is survived by her loving husband of 46 years, Bob, their sons, Steven and his wife Jacqueline of Simsbury, CT, Matthew and his wife Lindsay of Raleigh, NC and their seven grandchildren: Benjamin, Charlotte, Katherine, Samuel, Michael, Alexander and Harrison. Jan is also survived by her sister Patricia Larson and her husband James of Fairfax, VA, her two brothers William McLaughlin and his wife Suzanne of Manchester, NH, and Michael McLaughlin and his wife Jean of Peabody, MA. Lastly she was Auntie to many much loved nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held at Smith and Heald Funeral Home in Milford, NH on Monday, February 18th, 2019 from 5-8PM. The funeral mass will be held on February 19th, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Patrick’s Church in Milford, NH.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in gratitude to Brigham and Women’s Hospital to support the Pulmonary Fibrosis Fund. Memorial gifts can be made online at www.bwhgiving.org or checks can be made payable to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with “In memory of Janice Petrella” in the memo line and sent to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Development Office, 116 Huntington Ave., 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02116.