Memorial for Cathy Janson


A memorial will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Vineyard Haven to mark a year since Cathy Janson, an artist and seasonal resident of Martha’s Vineyard, died following a heart attack while at her home in Tisbury on Sept. 17, 2017. Cathy was 67 years old.

Cathy, known to many friends as “Cat,” was an active and vibrant presence on the Island. For three decades, Cathy and her husband Francis Janson of Yardley, Pa., lived part of the year on the Vineyard.

Born in Philadelphia, Cathy first came to the Island as a young mother of three children in the 1980s to visit friends. Cathy immediately felt at home here, and set out to return as often as possible. For many years Cathy and Francis docked their boat, the Fishing Well, in Menemsha during the summer.

Bubbling with energy and optimistic to her core, Cathy was constantly improving her mind and body, and found the Vineyard fertile ground for expanding her world and creating community. On the Vineyard Cathy began rowing, played ukulele with an ensemble, advanced her painting skills, learned how to tap-dance, gleaned on Vineyard farms, and volunteered at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Cathy loved running the Chilmark Road Race.

In addition to Francis, Cathy is survived by her three children, their spouses and her five grandchildren, Michael and Anna Janson of Silver Spring, Md., and their children Isaac, Samuel, and Miriam; Merritt Janson and Benjamin Wertheimer of Brooklyn, and their children Sebastian and Margot; and Patrick Janson of Manhattan. Cathy is also survived by her mother, Helene Selig, of Philadelphia; her father, Bob Mosk, of Glenside, Pa.; and her sister, Barbara Houten, of Philadelphia.

In Cathy’s honor, her family will host a memorial to dedicate a new trail kiosk in Brightwood Park, a nature sanctuary near her home in Tisbury. The kiosk was made possible by donations to the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation given in Cathy’s honor. Cathy regularly walked through these woods, along the Lagoon from her house to Vineyard Haven, and the path was etched in her heart, as was the Island.

The memorial will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Brightwood Park trailhead. For further details regarding the memorial event, please call 215-757-0005.