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Janice Benelli


Janice Benelli, 78, of Pittsburg, KS, passed away on July 20, 2023, at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Janice was born on October 9, 1944, to Robert and Janice (Pappas) Stiles in Corpus Christi, Texas. Janice graduated from the University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She was a teacher in Texas and Oklahoma before changing careers to become a paralegal. She worked in Immigration Law in Tulsa for many years.

Janie was happiest doing for others and being with friends and family. She delivered Meals on Wheels. She was a Gillie Class of 2011 and became a Docent at Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum in 2017. She became an Associate Member in 2020. She had a passion for Native American art. Until DNA testing proved otherwise, she was sure her dark hair and eyes evidenced a Native American ancestry. She met for monthly lunches with her class of "Gillies" until her move to Pittsburg, KS, to live next door to her sister. In her three and a half years in town, she made a large circle of friends who will miss her dearly. Janie loved her three sons dearly, became a mama to all their friends, and she loved her nieces and nephews as if they were her own. The world was a much better place by her love, spirit, and heart.

She is survived by three sons, Charlton Benelli of Pittsburg, KS, Brandon Benelli (Benay) of St. Helena, CA, and Matthew Kelly (Brooke) of Seattle, WA; a sister, Suzanne Fowler of Pittsburg, KS; a brother, Paul Harbaugh (Sherri) of Tulsa, OK; five grandchildren, Robert Benelli, Anise Benelli, Isabella Benelli, Lauren Wall, and Hope Kelley; a great-grandchild, Jessie May Wall.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

According to Janice's wishes, she has been cremated. A celebration of her life will be held in Tulsa at the Mayo Hotel, 115 W. 5th St. on Thursday, July 27, at 5:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Meals on Wheels. Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, KS.