Janis “Jan” Marie Kovaleski (née Pendergast) passed into the hands of God in her Greenville, SC home at the age of 73 with her family by her side.
She is survived by her husband of 51 years, John “Jack” K. Kovaleski; her two children, Carolyn L. “Carrie” Kovaleski-Vaughn of Greenville, SC and Benjamin “Ben” J. Kovaleski (Dareth) of Simpsonville, SC; and the pride and joy of her life: grandson Chase A. Vaughn of Castle Rock, CO and granddaughters Savannah J. and Morgan V. Kovaleski both of Simpsonville, SC. Janis is also survived by her three younger siblings: Susan L. Pendergast of Morro Bay, CA, Richard P. Pendergast (Terry) of Ft. Worth, TX, and John “JP” Morgan Pendergast of Cincinnati, OH. Jan completed her life’s journey in Greenville with meaningful life stops in Fort Wayne and Bloomington, IN and Clermont-Ferrand, France. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, extended family members, and special friends Nancy Tyner Warren and Ron August both of Ft. Wayne, IN. We extend our eternal gratitude to Mary Beth Wall for sharing her gift of loving care and friendship.
Hers was a wonderful life spent giving of herself to her family and close friends. Janis was a very thoughtful and loving wife to her lifelong partner, her “Jackie.” The greatest gifts she expressed were her ability to provide guidance for her husband and children and to offer unconditional support for the growth and happiness of her grandchildren.
Janis possessed natural talents not realized by many: playing the piano and dancing to the rock and roll music of her youth. She also loved travel, history, antiques, classic literature, and writing poetry and children’s books. Following these interests opened many doors to learning and adventure. In 1984, Janis became an entrepreneur and established Morgan-Ashley Company, Ltd in downtown Greenville, an antique store filled with impeccable English and Irish antiques hand-picked on a trip to England. While raising two high school teens, her love of history led Jan to Furman University, where she earned a BA in History. And, as a supporter of children’s book writers, Jan formed a group that was successful in helping aspiring writers get their creative projects published. She had a brilliant mind and a warm heart.
Janis was preceded in death by her parents, Hugh L. and Shirley M. Pendergast of Milwaukee, WI and grandparents, Joseph and Eldora Ravet Mroz of Spaulding Township, MI and George and Beulah McCardle Pendergast of Milwaukee, WI.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, August 22nd at 11:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church followed by entombment in the Graceland East Memorial Park Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests each person read a children’s book in memory of Janis. Donations in her name may be made to Rachel’s Vineyard https://www.rachelsvineyard.org/, Food for the Poor https://foodforthepoor.org/, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital https://www.stjude.org/.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Janis with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.