Shrewsbury – Janet Broughton Cobb, 64, of Shrewsbury, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 7,2023, following a sudden illness. Janet’s final weeks were an outpouring of friendly faces, fond memories, and joyous support from near and far.
Janet was born April 1, 1959 in Boston, MA, the daughter of Henry H. Blau Jr. and Jane B.(Broughton) Blau.
Janet is survived by Daniel S. Cobb Sr., her husband of 38 years, and their children Daniel S. Cobb Jr. of Prairie Grove, AR and Lindsey P. Cobb of Chelsea, MA. She was a dear aunt to many nieces and nephews – a role she treasured. She was an enthusiastic “in-law” and Godmother, for all were welcome and loved in Janet’s family.
Janet was raised in Wayland and graduated from Wayland High School. Growing up, she spent many unforgettable summers as camper and counselor at Camp Arcadia in Casco, ME. In 1977, she attended Colby College in Waterville, ME, majoring in Mathematics. While there, she formed cherished, lifelong friendships that sprung from her freshman year in Small Hall.
Following her graduation from Colby, Janet joined Digital Equipment Corporation as a Software Engineer for Large Systems in Marlboro, MA and Semiconductor Engineering in Hudson, MA, one of very few women in the field at that time. DEC is where she met Danny, and they married in 1985.
With the births of Danny Jr. in 1988 and Lindsey in 1990, Janet began her second act, first as dedicated and loving mother and then as community volunteer. Her father best described this stage as “organizing the world, one committee at a time”.
She tremendously enjoyed her giving her time, talent and purpose to many local organizations such as the Junior League, Saint Agnes Guild, UMass Medical’s Children’s Medical Center, DAR, and Saint Mary’s Parish and School. She is remembered for her pleasant persistence – it was easy to say “yes” to Janet, and to truly feel belonging and sincere appreciation as a part of something bigger.
In family life, Janet personified the power of kindness, forgiveness, and unconditional love. She lived the power of bringing a positive outlook to every challenge. In an often nuanced world of grey, she taught right from wrong and lived every moment finding and exemplifying the power of “right” and “good” and “kind” and “friend”. This is perhaps her greatest gift to her children and by extension to all of us. She shared a palpable sense of family history and legacy with her children, cousins, nieces and nephews. She curated the genealogy of the Broughton’s an Blau’s, passed down through generations of detailed research and humorous anecdotes. She was especially fond of the latter.
She developed a deep love of Hawaiian art, culture, and the warmth of its music – inherited from her beloved aunt, Elizabeth Stickney. Aunt Betty also inspired and encouraged Janet’s foray into watercolor painting. Painting brought Janet great peace and fulfillment. The Tuesday morning meetings of her watercolor group occupied a sacred place on her calendar for decades, and those friendships held an equally sacred place in her heart.
Janet loved her neighbors and her neighborhood of 38 years. She always tried to be the sort of neighbor that she would want to live near – and then some. She joyfully watched generations of families live and grow around Red Coat Road. She genuinely thrived on meeting new friends, chatting over the fence, or pausing on the sidewalk, just to get caught up.
Janet lived her life through hands-on effort and person-to-person relationships. Should you wish, the family respectfully suggests that you consider honoring Janet’s memory through the support of a favorite grass-roots charity – one marked by personal kindness, local impact, and the easy laughter of both volunteer and recipient.
Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend visiting hours at the Chiampa Funeral Home, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury on Friday, November 10, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 P.M. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 1:00 P.M. at St. Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury. Those attending the mass are asked to go directly to church.