Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Janice Dendrinos

January 29, 1932 - March 22, 2024
Portage, MI



Thursday, May 2, 2024
12:00 PM EDT
Fort Custer National Cemetery
15501 Dickman Rd
Augusta, MI 49012
(269) 731-4164

Life Story Celebration

Thursday, May 2, 2024
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Driving Directions


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Janice Ellen Dendrinos joined her husband, George Dendrinos, dear friend Ann Buck, and many other relatives and friends in heaven on March 22, 2024 at the age of 92. Jan was born on January 29, 1932 in Muskegon, MI, the daughter of Fred and Marjorie Weber.

Jan not only grew up in North Muskegon but she saw North Muskegon grow up. She remembers when roads were gravel, new houses were sprouting up and kids played outside all day. She often told stories about rowing around Bear Lake with her friends while simultaneously bailing out the wooden rowboat her dad had built because “that is just what you had to do!”. The love of spending warm summer days on the beach of Lake Michigan began as a child. Childhood friends were forged with many of those becoming lifelong friends.

Jan attended high school at Marywood Academy in Grand Rapids, where she embraced the culture and discipline the nuns taught her. She enjoyed telling stories of her time there, including sending laundry home to be washed by her mother, who would send it back! Jan continued to expand her lifelong friend group at Marywood, and that lifelong friend group enlarged while attending the National College of Education in Evanston, IL, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

At sixteen, she met a handsome lifeguard named George Dendrinos and married him a few years later on June 28, 1952. She joined him in Japan while he was in the service, and taught Kindergarten there. Stories were shared about her travel to Japan; first on a train to California and then on a steam ship, taking weeks to get there.

After George’s time in the service, they moved back to North Muskegon, where they welcomed their first daughter, Heidi. Soon after, George and Jan moved to Lansing while George attended MSU. Following his graduation, they returned to North Muskegon to establish themselves and to grow their family, adding Wendi, Judi and George. Jan raised the four kids on the same Lake Michigan beaches she grew up on. She passed along her love for the beach to them. She eventually took a job at Walker Memorial Library, where her love for books made it the perfect job.

Shortly after returning to North Muskegon from Lansing, George built a house in a new development off Bear Lake Rd. It was there, in the late fifties that Jan met Dorotha (Dot) Cook, building a special friendship that brought their two families together. The Cook's and Dendrinos' became a blended family, starting with 12 and growing to 56 and counting! Great job ladies! Still today, their families continue to gather for dinner on Easter and/or Thanksgiving all because of their 60+ years of devoted friendship.

A young George, just starting out his career at Weber Lumber Co, met a young builder named Bob Buck. Jan met Ann Buck soon after. A beautiful, supportive, faithful and spiritual relationship/friendship was born. These women also brought their families together to create another family unit of the Buck's and Dendrinos'. How blessed we were to have these people in our lives. Jan is now with Ann in heaven and we know they have a lot to catch up on.

In the early 70's, George, without Jan's consent, bought a house on Muskegon Lake and we moved a few miles down the road. Jan learned to love the house with the open layout and expansive view. She hosted large family gatherings, 4th of July get-togethers, family reunions, service league, card parties, summer parties for her Florida friends and welcomed anyone who happened to stop by. It is this house that the grandchildren and great grandchildren remember. The house was filled with joy, love and laughter. It has been said that she sometimes laughed so hard with family that she had tears running down her leg.

In retirement, they enjoyed traveling, mostly by car. Historically important places and southern architecture were her favorites. She took numerous pictures and was quite the archiver. They eventually made The Villages, FL their winter home. Playing cards, baking cakes and cookies for friends, participating in classes of all kinds, and finding obscure old Florida restaurants was what they loved. Catfish Johnnies was a particular favorite. When her friend, Jone, called about taking a class, mom was there; ballet, water aerobics, knitting, felting, line dancing, the list goes on. Playing cards and going to The Villages’ Michigan Club functions kept them busy.

In 2017, the decision was made to move to StoryPoint of Portage to be near their daughter, Wendi. They settled there, where she was active in exercise classes, knitting group, Bingo, and the monthly Lutheran Service. She really did enjoy her final years in the Kalamazoo area. Children and grandchildren visited often. She and daughter, Wendi, searched out new restaurants, secondhand shops and just drove around the county. Kalamazoo’s huge trees and the abundance of inland lakes never ceased to amaze her.

Jan was a friend to all. She was described as being “A Lady” - kind, compassionate, a confidant, fun, full of life, and beautiful. She had more friends than anyone could imagine. Jan’s friends were so good at calling her and Jan was good at writing them letters, she loved the written word. Every card and picture sent to her was kept, reread and filed. She would eventually return notes and pics to the respective family members for their own memories.

She was an avid reader, always having a book to read, puzzle to complete, knitting projects in the works, and making sure she played her four types of Solitaire card games every morning before breakfast, “So I won’t forget how to play them”, she would explain. She was always game for a good meal out, a roaring bon fire, impromptu performances from her grandchildren and a glass of white wine, but rarely two. She enjoyed all stages of life, living them with enthusiasm, zest and positivity.

Jan was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, George C. Dendrinos.

Surviving Jan are her children: Heidi (Bob) Sheehan, Wendi (Randy) Verlin, Judi (Mike) Hogan, and George (Sally) Dendrinos; her sister, Judy Brogren; sisters-in laws: Dorothy Dendrino and Georgia Zorn; grandchildren: Justin (Bethany) Sheehan, Angela (Craig) Stockman, Maureen (Tim) Chambers, Madelyn (Ryan) Van Tassel, Marjorie Verlin, Mark (Emily) Hogan, Katie Hogan, and Trey Dendrinos; 11 great grandchildren with two more on the way; and several nieces and nephews.

Private interment will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery on Thursday, May 2, 2024, followed by a Celebration of Life at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49009, between 2 - 4 PM that all friends and relatives are invited to attend. There will be a brief memorial at 2:30 PM.

Visit Jan’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you are able to archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, (269) 375-2900.