Obituary: Janet "Jann" LaBelle-Prince, 1947-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Janet "Jann" LaBelle-Prince, 1947-2022

Artist and pianist left an indelible mark on the lives of her students

Published June 13, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated June 13, 2022 at 11:07 a.m.

Jann LaBelle-Prince - COURTESY
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  • Jann LaBelle-Prince

Janet "Jann" LaBelle-Prince passed away at the Respite House in Colchester, Vt., on June2, 2022, after a long illness. Jann was the daughter of Ramon J. "Ray" and Marjorie LaBelle. She was born on June 18, 1947, in Burlington, Vt.

Jann was a generous, compassionate and incredibly strong woman. She tragically and suddenly lost her beloved son Martin “Marty” when he was 19 years old in 2004. It was a loss she never really recovered from. Jann was loved by many and had many dear friends, including her adopted daughter, Katharine “Katie” Monje, and her close friend Mary Lou Marsh. She is also survived by her sister Joan LaBelle Creasia; her nieces Karen and Tracy; her great-nieces and nephews Christina M. and Michael A. Yarrish and Cameron B. and Christopher T. Hohenschutz, for whom she cared deeply.

As a child, Jann was sexually abused once at age 4 and then again by a Catholic priest between the ages of 12 and 18. She lived dual lives: a life of abuse and deep pain; and a life of success, many talents and survivorship.

Jann took classes at Johnson State College and Northeastern College. She graduated from theNew England School of Art in Boston, Mass., in 1966 and was a prolific artist throughout her life. Always wanting to grow and learn as an artist, she was drawn to and studied Asian art and was tireless in her pursuit to capture landscapes using different mediums, such as watercolors, oils and charcoal. Jann was passionate about capturing on paper what she was inspired by in the world. She was so proud of her eight solo art shows and 70 group art shows. She has shown her work in Vermont, Pennsylvania and California, and her art can be found all over the East Coast.

Like her “daddy,” Ray LaBelle, whom she admired, loved and missed dearly, Jann was a very talented musician with a great sense of humor. Jann was an accomplished pianist, performing publicly and teaching piano for decades. She was a businesswoman and lifelong teacher of art and music. Her love and respect of children shined throughout her life. She established an art program at the Essex Junction Technical School. She taught art in Essex Junction, summer school at the Week School in Vergennes, and private and group art and piano lessons in her home for over 50 years. Jann also created promo slides at Vermont Public Television and owned and operated her business called Colors, Corners and Concertos. She certainly left an indelible mark on the lives of her beloved students.

Jann had a deep connection with animals. She loved her many poodles (Missy, Chloe, Molly and Belle), her birds whom she taught to talk (Chang, Buddy and Peaches), and equine therapy horses (Rumor and Zevi).

Jann was so proud and grateful to begin horseback riding at age 60. She found great solace in communicating with her horse Rumor. As observed by others, her connection with Rumor was the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen. After her son Marty passed, Jann’s horse Zevi would put his big head on her shoulders as she cried in his stall. The loss of her son was profound, and Jann found peace when working with horses.

Jann's friends Katie and Mary Lou wish to thank the amazing teams at Age Well Vermont, University of Vermont Medical Center Home Health & Hospice and the Respite House for all of the care provided in the last months of her life.

Friends and relatives are invited to celebrate Jann’s life together on Monday, June 20. A viewing and memorial will be held at the Ready Funeral Home, 261 Shelburne Rd.,Burlington, VT, starting at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at New Mount Calvary Cemetery in Burlington. Jann’s friends invite you to join them at the Saint John’s Club, 9 Central Ave.,Burlington, VT, between 4 and 6 p.m. to share food, drinks and memories of Jann’s life and her incredible strength. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Jann’s name to one or more of the following: the Humane Society of Chittenden County, UVMMC Home Health & Hospice, the National Stuttering Foundation/Association, Age Well Vermont and Vermont Children's Hospital.

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