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Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory

Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory
116 Benton Ave. West
Albia, IA 52531
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Memories & Candles

“Picked her up many times at the Pella Hospital to take her home. ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Patrick Humphrey - Oskaloosa, IA

“So sorry to hear of Janie's passing. She'll be greatly missed. Cheryl Brown Oskaloosa Senior Center ”
2 of 7 | Posted by: Cheryl Brown - Oskaloosa, IA

“Janie was always there for anyone who needed help. She was there when my son Logan wax born she will greatly be missed by a lot of people love u...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: amy hubbell - ottumwa, IA

“Janie was a good friend to many people. I met her when I moved to Avery in my senior year of high school. She was very friendly and made me feel...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Connie Mathias - Chillicothe, IA

“I met Janie while we were Girl Scout leaders, she was a good person and we always had alot of fun, she organized so many fun events for the Scouts to...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Ruth James - Albia, IA

“Janie went to Avery School during some of the years that I was there. She was younger than me, yet I still remember her smile and caring attitude...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Diana Newquist Parson - Ottumwa, IA

“Janie was such a caring person. At one time she was the youth group leader and loved guiding them. She was in her glory when she could bring...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Diane Whitson - Albia, IA

Mary J. Woodhouse, age 61, of Oskaloosa, passed away, Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Mahaska Health Partnership Hospital in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Mary Jane (Janie) Woodhouse was born Sept. 28, 1953, at Oskaloosa. She was adopted and raised by her grandparents, Tom and Mae James, in Avery, Iowa.

As she got older, Janie taught Sunday School to smaller children at the Avery Methodist Church. Teaching Sunday School remained a part of much of her life. She continued to serve as secretary of the Avery Reunion and she walked with God every day.

Janie attended Albia Schools and graduated Albia Community High School with the Class of 1971. Her classmates, too, remained a big part of her life. She stayed in contact with many of them, and she was on the committee for her class reunions.

Once you were in Janie's heart, you never left. God blessed only a few capable of the level of devotion she showed her friends, family and anyone else who could use a friend or a champion.
This is something that her husband of 43 years, George David Woodhouse, spotted immediately. Set up on a blind date, George fell head over heels in love with her and asked her to marry him on the day they met. They were married on Nov. 20, 1971.

Two years later, they welcomed their first child, daughter Tammy Marie Woodhouse. Their son, Steven James Woodhouse, was born in 1977.

Janie was born to be a mother. She not only kept a close involvement with her own children, she looked after every other child with whom she came in contact, as if they were her own. Neighbors' children, the girls in her Scout troops, her children's friends and classmates – everyone. Though she gave birth to only two children, there are countless people to whom Janie was "Mom."

She had a way of making everyone feel safe and secure when you were with her. Like the mothers you read about in the wild, she was a gentle soul until you tried to mess with one of her babies, or anyone else she cared about. It didn't matter if you were older than her, the same age, a grown man serving in the military or a 200-pound pro wrestler – if she loved you and you were threatened, she was the first one to stand up and fight for you.

Advocacy and support for those who needed her help were her life's work. From her time volunteering in schools, to her devotion to the South Central Iowa Center for Independent Living, to serving as the voice of the residents of her apartment building, God put her on this Earth to care for others.

In her later years, her health began to fail. This made it more difficult for her to carry out her Earthly missions or allow her to enjoy life as she always had. On Friday, June 12, 2015, the Lord decided that her work here was done. He suddenly called her home, whether any of us were ready for it or not.

She was preceded in death by her birth mother, Karolyn; her adoptive parents; her father and mother-in-law, Lloyd and Idell Woodhouse; sisters-in-law Mable, Edith, Judy, Karen (Eddie Fitzgerald) and Doris (Ken Boal).

Those left to keep her memory alive and continue her mission of love include her husband, George; children Tammy (Mike) Courtney, Steven (Marcy) Woodhouse; grandchildren Brittney (Nathan White) Courtney and Joel Courtney; great-granddaughter Chileigh White; siblings Judy (Dale) Fry, Thomas (Peggy) Collins and Charles (Melissa) Collins; a special uncle Jim (Patty) James; special cousin Kathy Walsh; brother-in-law Robert (Dawn) Woodhouse and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Memorial Services will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 17, 2015, beginning with visitation at 9 a.m., with a service officiated by Rev. Melisa Keeton to follow, at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia.

For those desiring, memorials can be made to Janie's family.