Janet (Mason) Ostreicher
February 20, 1956 - April 17, 2020
Janet (Mason) Ostreicher of Westport, CT, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 17, 2020, at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT after a courageous battle that ended with complications brought on by kidney disease and bladder cancer. She was 64 years old.
Janet was born on February 20, 1956 to Katherine “Rock” (Hudson) Mason and Vincent Mason of Maple Street in Darien, CT. She attended Baker Elementary School, Mather Junior High School, and she graduated from Darien High School as a member of the Class of 1974. In her twenties while working for Texaco she made an appearance as a model for an ad featured on a Times Square billboard. Eventually, Janet worked as an office manager and assistant to Dr. Carl Olsen in Norwalk. She was also a bookkeeper for J & J Car Care Center for over thirty years while simultaneously raising her children.
Janet was an extremely funny, magnetic person who loved animals and music. Over the years she had pet rabbits, a raccoon, a rat, a tortoise named “Fluffy,” parakeets, and many loving dogs in her life. Her favorite musicians were Karen Carpenter, Joe Cocker, KD Lang, Jim Croce, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Hendrix, Cat Stevens, and the Allman Brothers, and her favorite movies were Empire of the Sun and The Nightmare Before Christmas. She loved watching Practical Jokers and on April 1st of each year, she always had something up her sleeve.
Janet’s family was her greatest passion. At an early age, Janet first met her husband at the age of fifteen down at Pear Tree Beach in Darien. Later, Jay courted her with gifts of hand restored MG and Jaguar cars. The two became high school sweethearts and married at the earliest possible opportunity, which fell on a less than popular, unlucky 13th day of July 1974. Despite the superstition, Janet and Jay remained inseparable and the loves of each other’s lives ever since.
In 1985 and 1987 the couple welcomed their daughters Erin and Kate into their lives. They restored a 1780’s historic house on King’s Highway North in Westport as their home. Boating with friends and times spent at the South Norwalk Boat Club was a passion for Janet and her family. Many great memories were made while cruising on their boat, Lucky Guy on Cockenoe Bay, Avondale, Watchill, and Block Island, RI, with many of their dear friends. Her children remember Janet as a loving, grounded and focused mother who hosted the best play dates, sent them to school with surprise gifts in their lunch boxes, and who equally adored, respected and teased their father very much. Janet was a mother who was sensitive to her children’s feelings and who encouraged them to pursue their passions from an early age into adulthood.
Janet had an uncanny knack for drawing complete strangers to her with her humble, intuitive and humorous demeanor.She would often come home from doctor’s offices or from trips to the grocery store with memorable stories about people she had met and struck up deep conversations with along the way. Many of her friends, family and coworkers would describe Janet as the most low-key hilarious person they have ever met, and she was also dubbed the “Martha Stewart” of her circle of friends due to her appetizer concoctions and the beautiful living spaces she created both at home and in the cabin of the family boat.
In addition to her husband Jay, daughters, Erin and Kate, and Kate’s fiancé, Kenji Nakayama, Janet is survived by her siblings, Claire Marabella and husband William of Westerly, RI and Robert Mason of Darien; her uncle, George Mason of Darien; and her brother-in-laws, Kim Ostreicher and wife Hesun of Coventry, NH, Jan Ostreicher and wife Pat of Fairfield. Janet also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins whom she adored, and her pack of dogs Betty, Iggy and Dexter. She was predeceased by her grandparents Thomas and Katherine Hudson, John and Josephine Mason, and by her parents Katherine and Vincent Mason.
Janet was met with over twenty years of challenging, painful and limiting health issues, but she faced her illnesses with bravery. Her love for her family, her grit and her strong spirit got her through what those even closest to her could have barely imagined enduring. She exhibited patience, humor, and perseverance to the very end. She believed in heaven and she maintained a strong sense of faith in God. She was able to experience some of the last hours of her life with her husband Jay by her side, playing recordings of her favorite music and calling their daughters who could not visit due to the pandemic at hand.
In keeping with Janet’s wishes, the family plans to hold a celebration of life when restrictions on travel and gatherings are lifted. In the meantime, please find something funny to watch, observe the crows and sparrows flying outside, or say a prayer to keep her one-of-a kind spirit with you always. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Animal Nation Inc. www.animalnation.org Animal Nation PO Box 905 Rye NY 10580 to support Janet’s love of furry friends. The family would like to thank Dr. William Hale and his team of doctors, nurses, caregivers, and the staff at Norwalk Hospital for their efforts, care and dedication to Janet.