Janis  MacDonald


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Ashland - Janis MacDonald, 81, died Thursday, April 18, 2019, following a brief illness. She was born January 1, 1938 in Ashland, a daughter of the late Walter and Ada (Orcutt) Searway.
Janis last worked in the office of Ashland Water & Sewer District about 20 years, before her retirement in 1993. Previously she worked in the Ashland school guidance office for several years. She was a long-time parishioner of Union Congregational Church and a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Janis' passion was caring for her family, and her kitchen table was known to not only feed her family and friends but also lend a sympathetic ear or bit of advice; her heart and her home was always open to anyone. She was a wonderful cook who enjoyed trying new recipes and shared her meals through CARE, donating her morsels to local cancer patients. Janis liked camping but especially enjoyed her long car rides with her husband.
She is survived by: three children, Gene MacDonald and his wife Karen of Masardis, Cheryl O'Clair and Greg MacDonald, all of Ashland; one brother, Albert "Bub" Searway and his wife Joyce of Alabama; nine grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, Janis was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Albert B. MacDonald in 2017, and four siblings, Hazen and Nelson Searway, Barbara Sahlin, and Marjorie Grey.
A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Union Congregational Church, Sheridan Road, Ashland, with Pastor Nathan Gardiner officiation. To share condolences online, please visit
Published on April 21, 2019
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