Music 27

Janet E. (Settle) Shuster

October 15, 1934 ~ January 18, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Janet Shuster Obituary

Janet Ella (Settle) Shuster, 89, of St. Johnsville, NY entered eternal rest and joined her late husband in the heavenly kingdom on January 18, 2024. After months of declining health, she passed during her sleep in the still of night at her home with many family members and her beloved cat Rocky by her side.

She was born October 15, 1934, the youngest child of Charles Jay and Crystal (Saltsman) Settle. Her mother died two years after Janet was born, and her maternal grandmother Mary (Empie) Saltsman, from age 72, helped raise Janet and her siblings. She was the last student to finish elementary school at the Palatine one-room schoolhouse on New Turnpike Rd. She learned piano and organ from her sister-in-law, Marion Settle. After high school, she studied business at the Utica School of Commerce.

On October 25, 1952, she married Donald Charles Shuster, whom she loved dearly for their 45 years of marriage before his death on April 17, 1998. Even thereafter, not a day passed that she stopped loving him. They married shortly after she turned 18, after falling in love on a walk beside Pine Lake on a Sunday afternoon. Their love for each other, farming and family were well matched. Together she and Donny raised five children on their beautiful Crum Creek dairy farm overlooking the picturesque Mohawk Valley. They were true partners working equally in farming and raising their family, often side by side whether in the fields or milking the cows; she preferred the black cows and he the white ones. Their exceptional stewardship of the farm was obvious to all. They were even better in supporting their children, extended family, and their community. Janet taught her children and their descendants to be responsible, respectful, and compassionate to everyone. Their success is her legacy as a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Music was another passion. She was the organist at St. John’s Reformed Church for more than 50 years, and prior to that, at the United Methodist Church. She started lessons from age 8, when she would ride her horse up the hill to her piano teacher, and she started playing at her church when she was 12. She continued lessons her entire life, always challenging her skills. She is well known throughout the valley for her music, playing the piano or organ at numerous concerts as an accompanist or the featured musician; she also sang in many choruses. Even more, she is beloved for her kindness, unwavering support of others, and care for everyone. She loved gardening and working in the yard; she always had many flowers and vegetables, which she shared generously. Many talented musicians, the love of music and the kindness of people in our community are, in part, also her legacy.

Janet is pre-deceased by her husband, her parents, and all five of her siblings (Laura Getman, Harold Settle, Jane Jones, Vera Croote, and Eleanor Chapman). She is survived by sister-in-law Melanie (Tiny) Shuster. She is also survived by her children (Norma and her husband George Smith, Paul and his wife Maxine, Dale and his wife Vicki, Jeanne and her husband Scott Bruce, and Tina and her husband Todd Smith), 12 grandchildren (David, Jordan, Jessica, Sarah, Tiffany, Simon, Kayla, Kellyn, Jonathan, Rebecca, Alex, and Bethelle) and 6 great grandchildren (Lilly, Maya, Naomi, Oliver, Tucker, and Cooper).

 A funeral and celebration of life service will begin at 6 pm on February 3, 2024, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 32 West Main Street, Saint Johnsville, NY 13452. A reception with family will follow.  Burial at St. Johnsville Cemtery will take place in the spring. Arrangements are under the caring guidance of the Vincent A. Enea Funeral Service, (next to the Masonic Lodge), 20 Bridge St., St. Johnsville, NY. Condolences and memories may be shared online at: https://www. Gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to Second Chance Cat Rescue at 134 Vedder Rd., St. Johnsville, NY 13452 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 32 W. Main St., St. Johnsville, NY 13452 or St. John’s Reformed Church, 68 W. Main St., St.  Johnsville, NY13452. Alternatively, please donate blood; Janet benefited from many units of blood during her last year of life, which would not have been possible without the compassion of numerous donors.

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