Janet Edna McGirl

April 19, 1942 ~ June 24, 2022 (age 80)


The world lost a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Janet Edna McGirl, on June 24, 2022 at the age of 80. Janet passed away peacefully, in her home, surrounded by her family, after a valiant battle with cancer. 

Janet was born on April 19, 1942 in Jersey City, NJ to Thomas and Edna Feehan. She spent her younger years with her sisters and brother on Collard Street and graduated from Jersey City State with both her BA and MA+32 in Education. She had a passion for teaching and learning and wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, which was evidenced by the 32 years of working for the Jersey City school system. 

Janet was the epitome of a true educator. She worked as a general education teacher, special education teacher, and a learning disabled teacher’s consultant, on the child study team, throughout her impressive career at School 14 and School 25 in Jersey City. Her colleagues knew her as a kind soul, always willing to support any student or coworker that needed her guidance. She undoubtedly impacted and touched the lives of the many students she taught through her selfless dedication to them, her craft, and the desire for improving the lives of others through education.

Janet loved spending time with her family and hosting holidays for them with her famous veal parmigiana or lasagna that was always on the menu. She could often be found line dancing, playing shuffle board with her friends, reading a new book, seeing a NYC Broadway show with her daughter on Sunday afternoons, completing a Sudoko puzzle, or planting her feet in the sand at the Gulf of Mexico. Janet also thoroughly enjoyed traveling with her daughter, taking many trips together to Italy, Spain, France, and her two favorites Ireland and Portugal. She also enjoyed relaxing and watching the ocean waves from the bow of a cruise ship or off the coast of an island, as well as spending half of the year as a snowbird in Naples, FL with a dear community of friends. Janet loved fashion and was always dressed to the nines with the latest matching jewelry and clothes. 

Janet will be remembered for her steadfast and unwavering dedication to her dearest children, her loving nature, incredibly generous heart, quick wit sense of humor, and her sheer determination that led her to have a strong and independent spirit that so many people admired her for. 

Janet was married to William James McGirl and they had four children in their time together. She was preceded in death by her son Thomas Robert McGirl; sister Ann Marie Geib and brother-in-law Ernest Geib; sister-in-law Ellen Feehan; brother-in-law Dr. Donald Veix; and her dear friend Carol Skinner. She is survived by her three children: William James McGirl Jr. and his wife, Doreen, of Readington Township; Carolyn McGirl of Branchburg; Michael McGirl of Cranford; and her daughter-in-law Antoinette McGirl of Cranford. She is also survived by her companion of 44 years, Hugh Dempsey of Cranford and his daughter, Heather Dempsey of Baltimore, MD; her brother Thomas Feehan and wife Karen of West Windsor; and her sister Barbara Veix of Doylestown, PA. She leaves behind her adoring grandchildren Kaitlyn and Will McGirl, in addition to many nieces, nephews and extended family members who will sadly miss her.

Family and friends are invited for visitation at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield, NJ on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 from 4:00-8:00pm. 

Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in Cranford, NJ at 10:45am, followed by a burial service at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Felician School for Exceptional Children in Lodi, NJ.


June 29, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home
582 Springfield Ave.
Westfield, NJ 07090

Mass of Christian Burial
June 30, 2022

10:45 AM
St. Michael's RC Church
40 Alden Street
Cranford, NJ 07016

June 30, 2022

12:00 PM
Fairview Cemetery
1100 East Broad Street
Westfield, NJ 07091

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