Services Saturday for Janet Safanda, 72, Longtime Geneva Champion of Historic Preservation
- Deceased's name: Janet Wright Safanda
- Age: 72
- Date: Aug. 4, 2012
- Hometown: Geneva
- Survived by: Her husband of 46 years, Roy Safanda, her two sons, John (Hannah) and David (Elisa), and her four beloved grandchildren, Zoe, Mia, Royal and Nico.
Janet Wright Safanda, 72, died Saturday, Aug. 4, at her home in Geneva.
She was born to William and Margaret Wright in El Paso, Texas, and spent her childhood in Texas and Kansas.
Janet graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kansas, and after a Fulbright Fellowship year in France, she received a master's degree in teaching from Harvard University. In 1966 she married Roy Safanda and moved to Geneva in 1969, which was her primary residence for the past 43 years. Though a native southerner, she put down deep roots in the Fox Valley, which became the base for her extensive professional and philanthropic activities.
A very gifted teacher of young and old, she taught at Oak Park-River Forest High School and Elgin Academy. For two decades she worked as a management development consultant for Andersen Consulting, Accenture, McDonald’s Corporation and Time-Warner Cable.
Without fanfare, she gave generously of her time, ingenuity and resources to the people, institutions and organizations she valued so passionately. She was a founding board member of the Geneva Preservation Commission, and later became executive director and long-time supporter of Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley. She devoted herself to the League of Women Voters of Kane County serving in many capacities, including President, and chair of the voter service committee. Many local politicians will recall her very professional and polished demeanor as moderator of candidates’ forums.
Music was certainly one of Janet’s primary passions, which included her love for chamber and choral music, opera, and the Chicago Symphony. She was a very supportive fan of the St. Charles Singers, and she provided 20 years of dedication to The Orion Ensemble, serving as their capable Board Chairman and encouraging the growth of their audience in Chicago and in the Tri-Cities.
Among her many hobbies were reading, gardening, and ballet, especially Chicago’s Joffrey troupe.
Always her family came first. Janet is survived by her husband of 46 years, Roy Safanda, her two sons, John (Hannah) and David (Elisa), and her four beloved grandchildren, Zoe, Mia, Royal and Nico. Also surviving are her brother, Ralph, and niece, Hillary, and her trusty border collie, Conor.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, Geneva. The program will include a short concert by the Orion Ensemble, with light refreshments to follow.
The family requests no flowers; memorial gifts should be directed to the charity of one’s choice.
For more information, please call Yurs Funeral Home of Geneva, 630-232-7337 or visit www.yursfuneralhomes.com.
This notice and photo are courtesy of Yurs Funeral Home.