Obituary of Janice Gelzer
Janice Gelzer joined her beloved husband, Milton, passing away on April 22, 2023, a resident of Ocean County. Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1934, Janice moved with her family to Toms River in 1942, where her family owned a chicken farm on Lakehurst Road. Farm life instilled in her an independent spirit and a lifelong love of animals and plants. Janice attended Toms River High School, where she graduated salutatorian.
As a dean's list student and Phi Beta Kappa member at Douglass College, Janice met the love of her life, Milton Gelzer, at a Hillel Dance; they married after graduation. Janice taught English at Central Regional High School, meeting the challenge of a 22-year-old teacher trying to guide her 17 and 18-year-old students. She loved teaching, cherishing the "light bulb" moments when her students learned something new and exciting.
Janice and Milt raised two children together. Even as a stay at home mom, she still had time to participate in AAUW and Sisterhood, giving back to her community. Janice returned to teaching in 1969, now at her own alma mater, Toms River South. She served as a yearbook advisor and provided a strong, positive influence for her many students over many decades. She and Milt loved traveling together, opera, theatre, and especially gathering with friends and family. She was a good cook and a gracious hostess to their many friends. She loved to garden and always had flowers in her home. Even in retirement, she participated in an adult literacy program, still bringing her love for knowledge to as many as she could.
Janice is predeceased by her parents, Irving and Ethel Smith, and her husband Milton Gelzer. She is survived by her sister Phyllis Kearns; her brother Myron Smith and family; her daughters Marjorie Nydell and husband Matt; Regina Gelzer; her grandsons Jonathan Nydell and wife Kathryn; Samuel Edelson; Benjamin Edelson, and great-granddaughter Leila Nydell, who was named in honor of Janice. The circle of life will continue when her great-grandson is born in June.
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