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Janet Helen Burton, 85

Social Worker

January 4, 1938 - April 15, 2023

Janet Helen Burton, 85, died on Saturday, April 15, surrounded by her family that loved her dearly: Her husband John Burton Jr., and her three children, Rebecca, John III, and Scott.

Jan had suffered a stroke on Easter Sunday, and was cared for at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, for several days before returning to Stonebridge Senior Living Community in Skillman, where she had been living with John. There, she was treated with tremendous dignity by the Stonebridge nursing staff and by Stein Hospice, and she died in peace and comfort.

Jan was born on January 4, 1938, in Delaware. She was the daughter of Russell and Pauline McKnight, and the beloved older sister of Carol Wintermute — all three of whom preceded Jan in death.

She grew up in northern New Jersey, and got her BA in psychology at Kalamazoo College, followed by an MSW at the University of Michigan. In Ann Arbor, she met her future husband John, who was a senior in law school at the time. They were married on June 18, 1960, in Dearborn, Michigan, and in the ensuing years lived in Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Olympia Fields, Illinois; Ithaca, New York; Watchung; and South Brunswick, before moving to Stonebridge in 2021.

Jan worked for nonprofit agencies for 30 years, focusing on adoptions. In 1991, while living in New Jersey, she and close colleague Beth Grosshans opened a private practice in Flemington, offering therapy to families. In 2007, the two coauthored a parenting book, "Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm."

Jan enjoyed concerts and theater and was an avid fan of movies and sports; she considered herself a diehard follower of Michigan and Rutgers football, and of the New York Giants and Jets. She was a gracious host who loved throwing parties, both large and small, featuring her flair for food, wine, and music. She also loved to travel, counting Scotland, Provence, Thailand, Singapore, Antarctica, and especially Alaska among her favorite adventures.

Her many friends describe her as funny, kind, and generous spirit, always open to long conversations and deep connections. Her family – including daughter-in-law Nicole Blades and grandson Quinn; sister-in-law Sue Burton and her husband Jan Schultz; and her sister Carol’s two kids, Kristin and David Wintermute – was centered around her loving heart. She will be missed very much.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date; all will be welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jan’s name to the Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca (, where Jan worked for many years.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.


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