Janice Eileen Eckerle finished her race on her birthday, Feb. 1, 2020, at her home in Billings. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and Christian.

Janice was born on Feb, 1, 1947, in Dayton, Ohio. At the age of 3, she became deaf, but she triumphed through her disability. She graduated from Belmont High School in Dayton. She joined the Ohio Association for the Deaf and served as president of the Dayton Deaf Club.

Janice married her best friend, Jerald Eckerle, on Dec. 10, 1977. They lived in Connersville, Indiana, and together raised two children. They later moved to Billings to be closer to their children and where they were able to welcome four grandchildren. They loved each other for 42 years. They joined the Beartooth Deaf Club, and Janice served as secretary for the Montana Association for the Deaf.

In 1986, Janice was immersed into Jesus Christ. She served God faithfully for 34 years. In Billings, she was a beloved member of the 48th Street Church of Christ. In 2019, the National Christian Convention of the Deaf honored Janice and Jerald with an award for their lifetime of Christian service in the deaf community.

Janice was a hardworking woman. She enjoyed working at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Greene County, Ohio, and at the United States Postal Service, as well as Ford Motor Company in Connersville, Indiana. After her working years, she spent her time raising her two children. She enjoyed life with her family: traveling and sightseeing, camping and fishing, and visiting with family and friends.

She is preceded in death by her mother and father, William “Bill” and Dorothy Lawson; brothers Lowell and Ralph Lawson; and nieces and nephews.

She is survived by her husband, Jerald; her children, Jennifer (Justin) Bolton and Jeffrey (Christy) Eckerle; her grandchildren, Aiden, Madelyn, Rebekah and Peter; and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the 48th Street Church of Christ in Billings. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to ASPCA or to the 48th Street Church of Christ.

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