Cover photo for Jane (Janey) Adelyn Smith (Cernota)'s Obituary
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Jane (Janey) Adelyn Smith (Cernota)

d. August 17, 2021


Jane (Janey) Adelyn Smith from Montrose, CO was the firstborn child of Elsie and Henry Cernota; she passed away August 17 just three days shy of her 60th wedding anniversary.   Janey was born in Oak Park Illinois and is of 100% Czech descent. Her grandparents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia.   Jane was a precocious artist and studied at the Chicago Art Institute beginning at age 11.  She attended J Sterling Morton high school in Cicero, Illinois, and during that time was crowned Miss Morton. She had many interesting outsider jobs in Chicago during those years including working for an advertising agency where she participated in think tanks.  Janey claimed that the Oscar Mayer wienermobile was her idea.  Upon graduation from Morton High the faculty named her as the outstanding female student

Jane next enrolled at the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana where she studied art. She was social chairman of her dorm and a couple male roommates called for a date.  She thought the boys seemed interesting so booked the date with them for herself and a friend. Her friend’s date was Van Smith.  Van’s roommate subsequently called Jane back for another date, but she declined.  Van then called for a date, and she accepted.  Roommate relationships became frosty, but the Van and Jane relationship flowered and resulted in marriage.  Two children, Kimberly and VJ, were born while the couple lived in Illinois.

After Van’s graduation in 1963 the family moved to western Kansas and two additional children, Aletia and Vonda, were born.   Janey was a busy mother and homemaker with four children yet found time to become active in the YMCA. Friends of the Zoo, and politics.   She was a county co-chairman of the Republican party and later was county chairman for a presidential candidate and several gubernatorial candidates.  A highlight of her life for many years was participation in a women’s bible study group.    For exercise she swam at the Y and swam several miles for her 40th birthday.

Janey and Van moved to Gunnison Colorado in 2000 and enjoyed outdoor recreation, Rotary Club and the Western State athletic booster’s organization.  Life was interrupted when Janey developed severe health problems involving chemotherapy and dialysis, so they moved to Montrose in 2003 to be closer to needed medical treatment.   Janey received a miracle kidney transplant in Dallas Texas November 1, 2009, which ended the dialysis ordeal, but she also had copd which progressed and eventually caused her death.

Janey was very popular with her grandchildren and was known as “gramsie.”

Janey is survived by her husband of the home, four children and their spouses– Kimberly and Dr Alvin Ens, VJ and Kimmy Smith, Aletia and Mark Westlake and Vonda and Pat Cloutier.  She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, her sister and husband Beth and Tom Clark and brother and wife Bill and Maria Cernota.  Bill is a professional cellist in Chicago and cello music at the funeral will be provided by him.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Montrose, 19 S Park Avenue.   In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to the E W and Florence Smith Scholarship Fund at Emporia State University, Campus Box 4002, 1500 Highland Street, Emporia, Kansas 66801-5018.

The family would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses and medical assistants who treated her along the way.  In particular, the family thanks Dr. John Lambert who was instrumental in her recovery back when she was very sick on chemo and dialysis and prospects seemed bleak.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jane (Janey) Adelyn Smith (Cernota), please visit our flower store.


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