Reception to follow in the Parish Hall.
Dr. Janice Lumpkin, Ph.D.
Jan 23, 1945- Dec 28, 2023
Life in Review
It is with deep love and gratitude for a life well-lived that we announce the passing of Dr. Janice L. Lumpkin, Ph.D., beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and beautiful friend. Her presence will forever remain in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing her. She is described by those who knew her as one of a kind, fierce, a force, tenacious, elegant, joyful, positive, exquisitely organized, thoughtful, kind, loving, brilliant, dedicated, and courageous.
Born in Illinois on January 23, 1945, the daughter of Robert and Velma “Pat” Park, Janice’s indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to excellence were evident from a young age. Graduating in the Class of 1962 from Wayne Memorial High School at the age of 17. Close to that time, she also became a big sister. She was a loving and devoted older sister to Laurel, expanding her world by taking her to museums and musical performances while Janice attended Eastern Michigan University to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance. She furthered her studies at Michigan State University earning a Masters in English. From 1970-1973, Janice was an English instructor for Clemson University where she also served as the President of the National Organization for Women Clemson Chapter. By 1978, Janice earned her Doctorate in Communication from Florida State University, where she was Adjunct Professor of the School of Management. In that same year she married her husband Dr. Alex Lumpkin, Ph.D. in Tallahassee, Florida.
The family then moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Janice and Alex enjoyed the wonderful tennis weather in the Southwest. Off the court, Janice furthered her professional career including several roles with Los Alamos National Laboratory, including Manager of Personnel and Finance as well as Training and Employee Development for the Life Sciences Division.
After the birth of her first daughter Katherine in 1980, the family moved to Aix-en-Provence, France. Enjoying the cuisine, clay tennis courts, and learning the French language, this southern French town became one of her favorite places she ever lived. While living in France, she was a member of the Executive Policy and Planning Committee of the American Group of Provence. The move to Europe stirred a lifelong desire to travel. Throughout Janice’s life she traveled to many areas in France, England, Italy, Greece, Germany, Scotland, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and Mexico.
Upon returning to the USA in 1985, she became Employee Relations Manager and Training Program Developer for Los Alamos Technical Associates. Janice and Alex welcomed their second daughter Elizabeth in 1986 at which time they family of four moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After living in Santa Fe for many years enjoying the rich culture and their pueblo style home, an invitation to Alex to transfer to Argonne National Lab brought the family to Naperville, Illinois.
This move to the Chicago area in 1991 included expanding Janice’s professional accomplishments into the sport’s arena. Janice transitioned her career to being a Certified Tennis Official for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). She was a sought after referee and umpire being well known for her fairness, toughness, and no nonsense approach to the rules of the game. She trained and developed many excellent umpires as well as served as a Chair Umpire for many major collegiate NCAA matches and USTA National Junior tournaments. She furthered her involvement by serving on the USTA Chicago District Board of Directors for many years. She even earned a coveted spot to umpire for the US Special Olympics Wheelchair Tennis event in 2021. She remained active in the tennis umpiring community in both the Chicago area and the Upstate of South Carolina until her retirement in 2022.
Living in Greenville, South Carolina in most recent years Janice thrived despite living with now advanced cancer. She enjoyed reconnecting with lifelong friends, living in the same neighborhood as one of her daughters, and connecting to her passions of music and service. She not only became a member of local organizations, but also regularly volunteered. She enjoyed packing meals through St Peter’s Episcopal Church as well as hosting coffee hour.
She was a devoted member of the Music Club of Greenville, enjoying their monthly performances, but also working on their scholarship and grant committee to select music educators and student musicians to earn the club’s annual scholarships. She continued to use her voice in multiple ways as she sang Alto in the Greenville Chamber Singers as well as remained politically active volunteering for the Kamala Harris campaign, the 2020 Census, and the South Carolina Women’s March Movement. She even sang in New York’s Carnegie Hall with the Greenville Chamber Singers. Performing one of her favorite pieces of music “Jubilate Deo” by Dan Forrest, a local Greenville composer, at such a historic venue was an opportunity she greatly treasured.
When not participating in community activities, Janice enjoyed her family, friends and exploring the Greenville area. She picked lavender in the local lavender farms that reminded her of France. She frequented the Sigal Music Museum as well as the Upcountry History Museum. If Janice wasn’t out and about, she loved to be in the kitchen creating delicacies for her family. She truly was an incredible chef that blessed many a waist line. She loved French cuisine and her family and friends particularly raved about her Quiche Lorraine, Rack of Lamb, and Apple Pie.
Her greatest joy came from her role as a devoted mother, and member of her larger extended family. Janice remained connected to her sister Laurel and continued to provide boundless wisdom, care, and love into Laurel’s adulthood. In addition, Janice raised her two daughters Katherine Lumpkin-Leech and Elizabeth Lumpkin Robinson to reflect her values of integrity and service to others. Janice’s unwavering support and nurturing nature as a mother was evidenced countless times with travel to tennis tournaments, youth symphony concerts, late night sewing creations for school related activities, cheering on her daughters’ various endeavors with amazing enthusiasm, including even dressing up for Halloween as the mascot of one of her daughter’s teams. She instilled in her children the importance of problem solving, work ethic, and full presence as one of life’s greatest gifts.
In 2017 Janice joyfully became “Grandma Jojo”, named by her first grandson Cody Leech. She enjoyed birthday parties, playing games, trips to Edisto Beach and even roller skating with Cody. By 2022 she became a skilled bath time giver, lullaby singer, and avid snuggler to her other daughters’ children Bailey Robinson and Cooper Robinson. She always remembered birthdays and major celebrations ensuring we all felt loved on Valentine’s Day in particular penning beautiful loving prose in carefully selected cards in her exquisite penmanship.
Janice will be remembered as a beacon of strength, grace, and unwavering perseverance. Her memory will continue to empower and inspire all those whose lives she touched. May her soul find eternal peace, her body rest from the suffering of this Earthly life, and may her spirit live on in the hearts of those who will cherish her remarkable presence.
Janice is preceded in death by her parents Robert and Velma “Pat” Park . She is survived by her husband Dr. Alex Lumpkin Ph.D., sister Dr. Laurel Park Ph.D., daughters Dr. Katherine Lumpkin-Leech, DO (Son-in-Law Nate Leech), Elizabeth Lumpkin Robinson (Son-in-Law Jason Robinson), her grandchildren Cody Leech, Bailey Robinson, and Cooper Robinson as well as the extended Lumpkin and Park Family and dear friends.
In remembrance of Janice’s life, a memorial service and inurnment will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one of the following organizations:
The Music Club of Greenville, https://musicclubgreenville.org/, The Music Club of Greenville Fund-raising, 8 Badger Drive, Taylors, SC 29687. Make checks payable to The Music Club of Greenville. Donations of used Instruments are also accepted by this organization.
The American Cancer Society, https://donate.cancer.org/
Susan G Komen Research Foundation, https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer-research/grants/opportunities/?form=donate
Friends and Family are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Janice with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.