Cerra, Janice J.
Janice Josita (Granny) Cerra, born on June 8, 1935 of Montague used the expressway to heaven on April 16, 2020 and entered the Lord’s Kingdom to be with her one and only true love of her life Robert (John) Cerra, her son Eric J. Cerra, her parents John and Katherine Jones, her sisters Elizabeth Borst, Marie Pisarcik, brother John Jones, Delores (Dolly) Loprano, Sharon Falconer and baby brother William.
Granny will always remain in the hearts of her children John Cerra, Stephen Cerra (Janet), Janice Cerra, Alan Cerra, Katherine Cerra, Nora Castillo (Oscar). She will also remain in the hearts of her grandchildren John Roberts Cerra, Jr., Andrew Gonzales, Stephen Cerra, Jr., Alexa Rae Cerra, Caitlyn Nicole Cerra, Erin Elizabeth Babcock, Eddie, Emma, Robert, Malina, Erica, Eric Joseph Cerra, Hayley and Nicholas Steele and five great grandchildren including grandchildren Oliva, Vida, Lily, Layla, Evvie and Bronx. Janice will also remain in the hearts of all her nieces and nephews, Bill, Hillis, Billy, Andrew, Deborah, Gail, Joe, Kimberley, Caesar, Colleen, Jim, Patrick, Allison, Hillary, Frank, Peggy, Heather, Carl John, William Joseph, Michael, Jimmy and Harold. And sister-in-law Mary Cody who painted a beautiful icon of St. Anne holding the Blessed Mary and sister-in-law Lenore Peters.
Janice was a member of East Hanover Rescue Squad in the 1970s and currently she was a faithful member of the Columbiettes (Msgr. James Gacquin Auxiliary) and the Legion of Mary Immaculate Heart of Mary Praesidium of St. Thomas and St. James. She made weekly visits to the Homestead Nursing Home and the Bentley Senior Living to pray the Rosary with residents. One Million Campaign for Salvation of Souls – number of Hail Mary’s she prayed was 500. She also participated in making homemade soup for St. James – one of her special ingredients was “made with love”. Janice had so many special “church lady friends” especially Grace Hagerman and Diana Rimshrick who would bring the statute of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her home which she appreciated so much. She was also a member of Montague Seniors. Both her and John belonged to the Coachman Camping Group for years where they did cross country camping taking all their grandchildren with them.
Janice also had some very special people in her life, her longtime friend Kathy Tighe who everybody thought they were sisters along with Joan McKeen. Including her “telephone buddy” Yvonne Greene who mistakenly called Janice’s telephone number for years due to being legally blind. They continued throughout the years to speak with each other and became friends to just call and chat with each other about family. After years of speaking on the telephone, they first met last March 2019 after Janice’s daughter contacted Yvonne to explain to her that her mother was very sick and would like for both of them to meet. Yvonne got her daughter to drive her, her husband, granddaughter from East Orange that same day and drove to Newton Hospital. Once they got to the ICU Unit, everyone in the room held hands in a circle, Mr. Greene said a beautiful prayer from that moment on Janice’s condition improved and she was shortly discharged from the hospital – this was a true miracle.
Janice and her adored husband John never said I love you. They always said I does and signed their cards that way. After John’s death in 2003, Janice got a tattoo on her ankle with a broken heart that said I does because he literally broke her heart when he died. A lot of people didn’t know that Janice was the dare devil, she para-sailed in Aruba, she went sky diving for her 80th birthday and had plans for her 85th birthday of zip-lining. Janice and John were also known to many as Santa and Mrs. Claus where friends and family would come to their house so the children could meet and receive a gift from Santa and Mrs. Claus. They also hosted Thanksgiving at their home for over forty-five years for all their relatives and in the past few years Janice handed over the tradition to her nephew Frank and his wife Peggy. She also hosted Easter Brunch which she had plans to have a belated brunch after this uncertain time.
Janice was loved and cherished by everyone whose lives she touched and for those who did not have the opportunity to let her into their life, they missed out on the opportunity of knowing a beautiful person inside and out.
There were also some other very special people in her life, her long time Doctor Frank Kane, Nurse Chris, Lauren, Sherry and the rest of Doctor Kane’s staff who took excellent care of Janice. Her family thanks each and every one of them from the bottom of their hearts. Thank you! Janice left behind her true companion, her dog Sophia, who laid down beside her for hours until help arrived.
Granny wanted to let all her grandchildren know that she read the newspaper honor roll and sport sections to stay up-to-date on their progress and also attended some of their sporting events. Janice and John loved babysitting each and every one of their grandchildren. She also sent birthday and Christmas cards and continued to pray for them. She loved all her grandchildren and great grandchildren and prayed for everybody especially of those in need who were suffering from physical and mental health issues. She prayed the Rosary for all even in the last moments of her life. She still believed in God our Father thru her difficult and unbearable pain she suffered.
(I cried an Ocean of tears for you mom) so you can have a safe voyage to heaven. You are my best friend, and the best mother, grandmother, aunt, wife, you were the best of everything. You had the kindest soul and was the most understanding person and you were loved by so many people. I will miss you. I am broken hearted and you will be with me forever in my heart and soul. Love you to heaven and back, love your PITA.
The family would like to thank the Montague Fire Rescue for their quick response and the EMTs who responded as well. Donations can be made to the Montague Fire Rescue and/or St. James the Greater, Montague, New Jersey. Arrangements are being arranged by the Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral home 156 Main St. (Rt. 206) Newton, NJ. Online condolences may be offered through www.iliff-ruggierofuneralhome.com Live Stream Video of Janice’s Funeral Services are available at 11 AM Wednesday April 22 through www.saintjamesthomas.org.