Janice Blakley ’70 Westlund

Janice Ruth Westlund (née Blakley), died December 22, 2023. Born in Webster, New York to Walter and Mary Ruth Blakley.

She graduated from Hope College and held various teaching positions before meeting her husband Steve in Chicago. Together they worked in and eventually co-owned Bob’s Hardware in Rockford, IL. Janice enjoyed coming up with new ways to market the store including writing a weekly Do It Yourself column and even hosting a radio show for a time.

An advocate for her community and the arts, Janice was a long serving board member of several local nonprofits, including Keith School, the New American Theater, the Coronado Theater, Crusader Health Foundation, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the Music Academy in Rockford. She was also a proud Community Co-Chair of Rockford College’s Uncommon Lives: Extraordinary Women in the Arts program. After retiring from Bob’s Hardware, she enjoyed her continued involvement as Board Chair of the Music Academy with her dear friend Marti Frantz. In her spare time Janice was a voracious reader, and an avid Rolling Stones fan.

She enjoyed spending time with her husband and delighted in her children and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents. Janice is survived by her husband of 51 years, Steven of Rockford, her daughters Elisabeth Dahl (Robert) and daughter, Katherine Scott (Michael), and three grandchildren, Madeline, Henry and Calvin. Her family will miss her dearly.

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