Janice Allene Buckingham, 82 of Gaylord, passed away at home surrounded by her family on Monday, February 28, 2022.
Born on November 28, 1939 in Youngstown, Ohio, she was the daughter of Leonard C. and Mary Louise (Griffith) Billig.
Later the family moved to Michigan and Janice graduated from Rochester High School in 1957. She went on to attend Eastern Michigan University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree and her Certified Michigan Teaching Certificate in only three and a half years of study.
On April 8, 1961, Janice was united in marriage to Mason Buckingham in Rochester, Michigan. Both educators, they lived and worked in Webberville, Gladwin, Vassar, Vicksburg and Coleman, before moving to Gaylord. Janice finished her teaching career as a substitute teacher at Gaylord Community Schools where Mason was Superintendent.
Janice loved her family and they always came first. She enjoyed being a wife and mom and especially, a grandmother. In retirement she found joy in following the activities of her grandchildren and attending as many of them as she could. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren on the annual family camping trip which she and Mason hosted for the last 25 years.
A volunteer in the communities they lived throughout her life, Janice was an active member in Gaylord at the First United Methodist Church where she served in several capacities including as co-chair of the prayer chain. She was also a volunteer at Otsego Memorial Hospital as a member of the hospital auxiliary, as a greeter, and as a chairperson of the scholarship committee.
Church was always a very important part of Janice’s life. Her first home congregation was West Side Baptist Church in Youngstown where she was Baptized in 1951. In subsequent years she was equally active at the churches they attended and in church sponsored community activities. She particularly enjoyed helping a Laotian refugee family settle in Vassar and writing letters to POW service members and their families. She was always there to help, never seeking personal recognition. She did what she did and lived her life as she did to honor her Creator and Redeemer. She humbly and regularly used the gifts He gave her for the good of others.
Janice is survived by Mason, her husband of almost 61 years; sons, Scott (Michele) Buckingham of Midland and Brian (Christine) Buckingham of Saginaw; daughter, Cheryl (Rick) Schmuckal of Kingsley; grandchildren, Donald (Nicole) Buckingham of Coleman, Nicole Buckingham of Novi, Emily Schmuckal of Traverse City, Alexandra Buckingham of Saginaw, Nathan Schmuckal of Kingsley, Samuel Buckingham of Saginaw, Aidan Schmuckal of Kingsley, Faith Buckingham of Saginaw, Grace Buckingham of Saginaw, and Adeline Schmuckal of Kingsley; a brother, William (Elaine) Billig of Clarkston; and a sister-in-law, Carol Billig of North Branch.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, David Billig, and granddaughter, Sydney Buckingham.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, March 3, 2022 at the Gaylord First United Methodist Church where visitation will begin at 10:00 AM. Those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions to the church.
Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family below on Janice’s guestbook.