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Janet Owner (1943-2024): Garden Club ‘mainstay’

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Club mainstay: Janet Owner was a past president, secretary of the Garden Club of Bermuda and past president of the Kennel Club (File photograph)

An animal lover and devotee of the Garden Club of Bermuda is recalled as its resident wit with a deep knowledge of tending plants.

Janet Owner was president of the club from 2005 to 2007, serving as secretary and filling in whenever needed. She also edited gardening publications.

Ms Owner served as president of the Bermuda Kennel Club in the 1990s, and presided over the Bermuda All Breed Club.

With her husband, Michael, she was the proud owner of dogs including two Hungarian hunting dogs, or vizslas, that appeared in the well-received 1997 Bermuda All Breed Club's March International Dog Show.

Ms Owner helped organise the 1992 Seventh World Congress of Kennel Clubs held in Bermuda.

Club mainstay: Janet Owner was a past president, secretary of the Garden Club of Bermuda and past president of the Kennel Club (File photograph)

Cindy Young, another former Garden Club president, called her “a mainstay” of the organisation.

Ms Young added: “Janet was very generous with her time and advice, and gave wise counsel and support when I was president.

“For that, I am indebted to her. Another thing we loved about Janet was she could be deliciously naughty — her delightful sense of humour and very clever wit were well appreciated.”

Ms Owner sent out the Garden Clippings newsletter, spicing news of upcoming events and details of the club’s history with humorous stories and jokes.

“Our members loved it,” Ms Young said. “She and her husband loved opening their home and welcoming people. They were very gracious hosts.

“I also admired her as a really fine listener. If there were concerns, Janet give a very balanced point of view.

“She was beloved by many, many people in the club.”

Betsey Mowbray, another former club president, said she was “always good fun to work with and, over the years, a wonderful member and contributor to the club”.

Ms Mowbray recalled her love for dogs, and the flowers at the couple’s well-tended garden.

Felicite Davidson, also a former club president, called Ms Owner “our communications maestro”.

The two volunteered together for the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, attending to visiting performers — with Ms Owner’s cooking skills going into dinners for the artists.

Ms Davidson said: “She had a tremendous capacity for friendship and always saw something amazing in everything. She would look for that glimmer.

“She was great with puns and wonderful turns of phrase. She was kind, thoughtful and a very special person who put up with life’s curveballs with great humanity, resilience and a smile. She is very much missed.”

• Janet Owner, a president of the Bermuda Kennel Club and the Garden Club of Bermuda, was born on July 29, 1942. She died in April 2024, aged 81

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Published May 06, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated May 06, 2024 at 7:48 am)

Janet Owner (1943-2024): Garden Club ‘mainstay’

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