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Obituary for Janet Adair
Janet Adair died Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, at her home in Eatonton, surrounded by her loving family. She was 75 .Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday at Vining Ivy Hill Chapel, with family visitation starting at 2 p.m. Born in Macon, Georgia, Janet was the oldest of the three children of Battle and Micky Smith. She attended school in Macon and Cochran before moving to Eatonton when the Smiths bought the Eatonton Messenger in 1956. Janet trained as an x-ray technician at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital and then worked in Savannah, where she met and later married an Air Force pilot, Daryl Wilson. In the1960s, she moved into the life of mother and military wife as Daryl flew missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis, polar and border patrols, and three tours in Vietnam. The Air Force eventually sent the couple to Portsmouth, N.H.; Merced, California, and finally to Rome, N.Y., where they settled post-Air Force to raise their two daughters and get involved in the beginnings of computer enterprises. Following Daryl’s sudden death in 1986, Janet returned to Eatonton to help with the family newspaper business but would leave after a couple of years for a series of mid-management positions in the retail trade at Rochester, N.H., Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Augusta, and Athens. With her mother experiencing health problems, she returned once again to Eatonton and the Messenger in 1996. After 14 years as a widow, she remarried in 2000, to the Messenger’s news editor, Rufus Adair. Janet experienced both rich fulfillments and deep sadnesses in her life, but throughout she also kept a sense of adventure and a delight in the small and everyday. As a schoolgirl, she rode horses, swam, water-skied, played basketball, acted in one-act plays, won science prizes, and out-danced anybody within shouting distance. As a young mother, she snow-skied, scuba-dived, and served as a Girl Scout leader, baton instructor, a seamstress and an EMT at a volunteer fire department. Later in life she enjoyed mountain hikes and dirt-road rides, studied tidal pools, and delighted in small creatures and soaring birds. Survivors include her husband of 14 years and a day, of the home; two daughters, Florence “Widget” (Delmarie Burr) Wilson, Jacksonville, Fla., and Andria (Michael) Lacey, Rome, N.Y.; one brother, Mark (Joann) Smith, Eatonton; one sister, Sloan (Steve) Gregory, Eatonton; one grandson, Keagan Daryl Lacey, Syracuse, N.Y.; one granddaughter, Katherine Russell, Jacksonville, Fla., and two step-sons, Alex Adair, Crawford, and David Adair, Savannah. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Janet’s memory to http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/Janet_Adair or the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065. .