Janet E. (Bottai) Suorsa (Jann, Queen Mother, Rani Amma), 82, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children, at her home in Upton, MA on April 27, 2022. Born in Haverhill, MA on June, 15, 1939 to parents Carrie (Betty) Elizabeth (Baily) Bottai and Joseph Bottai of Haverhill MA. She was preceded in death by her husband Paul Suorsa, whom she was married to for 44 years.
Janet had fond memories of being head majorette during her school years and growing up on the farm in Ayers Village and in the woods on Mohawk trail. She was like a second mother to her siblings growing up and always kept them entertained with her fantastical stories and exciting adventures in the woods. After working at Western Electric for many years, where she met her best friend, Betty Rossello, she went to cosmetology school and began a career as an esthetician and hairstylist. She worked for several salons before opening her own salons in the 70s and 80s: “janet-did-it” and “janet-did-it downtown”. Her successful businesses allow her to travel and spend a lot of time in St. Croix and in Florida, where she and Paul lived during the winters for many years. After retirement, they lived in the White Mountains during the summer and fall where Janet loved to go hiking and swimming in the Saco river.
Janet always had something creative going on and excelled at whatever she took up; whether it be painting, quilting, sewing, or jewelry making, she had a knack for making special things. As the Queen Mother of several Red Hat Chapters in NH and FL, she was always organizing fun things to do & entertaining the ladies. She has long been the Queen of our family as well. Janet always had something up her sleeve: an April fools prank, cookie swap initiations, seeing through her 3rd eye and Ya-Ya ceremonies; it was never dull. She was always moving and always trying something new. We all got pulled into her adventures exploring crystals and gemstones, Thai Chi, or studying chakras and auras. She was always full of life.
Janet worked hard and overcame many difficulties but was always positive and looking forward. She was a beautiful, strong, resilient, and caring woman who was a role model to many of us. We should remember her strength as well as her whimsical nature. So, go out and look for a fairy circle in the woods, put your ya-ya hats on and dance around the campfire, learn something new, or go on an adventure and know that Janet will be watching and happy to see you living your best lives.
Janet was preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law, Joseph (JoJo) Bottai and Patricia (Pat / Fran) Bottai, father, Joseph Bottai, mother, Carrie (Betty) Bottai, son, Thomas Suorsa, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sally (Suorsa) Swanson, and Gordon (Swannee) Swanson, and brother-in-law Robert Andrews. She is survived by her 5 children: daughter and partner Kim Reilly and Jimmy Kiley, son Corey Speechley, daughter and partner Courtney Speechley and Mike (Z) Franzosa, daughter and son-in-law Gail and Charles Maynard, daughter and son-in-law Lauri and Robert Scally, her sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Donald McGrath, her sister Linda Bottai, her sister and partner Joy (Jodi) LaBelle and Jim Lemieux, her brother and partner Jay Bottai and Geoff Brown, her brother and partner Dean Bottai and Lorna Spencer, her sister-in-law Laurie (Suorsa) Andrews, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Peter Suorsa, and Gaylene Main, her 6 grandchildren: Megan Landrau-Ramirez, Tara Wright, Brooke Laneau, Thomas Gynan, David Gynan, and Erica Scally, 7.5 great grandchildren, and many loved nieces, nephews, and friends.
A private celebration of life for family and friends will be planned in the coming weeks.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Janet E Suorsa to support cancer research and patient care at:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
P.O. Box 849168
Boston, MA 02284
or via www.dana-farber.org/gift.