Meet Janet and Jeff – Dedicating time to others and continuing their hobbies together

Resident Janet Marshall and her husband Jeff have been married for 57 years where they have dedicated most of their time to helping others. The couple continue their hobbies and their love of gardening at Calvary St Francis Retirement Community.

Each day Jeff attends the aged care facility to visit his wife alongside their cavoodle Jayjay.

The pair first met while Jeff was playing football. Jeff had seen Janet with a fellow team mate whom Janet was working with at the time. “I asked him if he could set us up. He got the switch board to switch me straight over so I was cold and I just had to talk my way into it. She must’ve known who I was and said yes! Then we just kept on going out” said Jeff.

Jeff was a printer by trade and Janet worked across various roles in legal and insurance firms. The two then ran their own family business which has now been passed onto their three children.

Janet and Jeff have spent their lives giving back to the community. They have both been involved with supporting local families that may need help and helping single mothers groups. Both are humble about their contributions.

“Janet used to arrange for our family to have children from the local orphanages join us for Christmas so that they could share in celebrations. She also supported local single mother’s group, looking after their children when they needed time and helping them shop. As a family we were always keen to do nice things for others” said Jeff.

“We get more out of helping others than the people we are helping. It’s just so rewarding” said Jeff.

Leisure and Lifestyle Officers Vanessa Carpenter and Jayne Gill appreciate the time Janet’s family put into the community. “Janet and Jeff have started gardening here at Calvary St Francis. They prune, water and plant. Jeff hooks his speaker up to our Wi-Fi and they play music as they garden. Sometimes Janet just likes to sit with their dog Jayjay and watch on”.

 “Janet always loved gardening and I like gardening too. We had a lovely garden where we lived. She would spend all day out there. Now it’s a great chance to enjoy the outdoors together” said Jeff.  “I love gardening and planting and we have beautiful gardens here at St Francis” said Janet.

Jayne Gill said that Janet also enjoys family time while doing craft. “On Thursday mornings we do craft. Janet’s daughter will come in and if she can’t make it Jeff will be there to help” said Jayne.

Alongside gardening and craft Janet’s main passion was sport. She was a badminton NSW player, being crowned Australian Junior Badminton Champion two years in a row. Janet also explored different hobbies including woodwork, crocheting, knitting and china painting. For Jeff, he played football and rode horses where Janet was his strapper.

The two also enjoyed camping and fishing together. “We would take the boat out on the Friday and camp for the weekend. We would fish together. It was a great bonding moment for the two of us”.

“Calvary St Francis is such a beautiful place and the people here are wonderful” said Janet. Jeff emphasised, “It’s great to be able to visit and spend time with Janet. Our family all come regularly to participate in activities here”.

Jayne said “They have an amazing relationship. They are very sociable with everyone here and Jeff regularly takes Jayjay to visit other residents. They are a great part of our community”.

Jeff concluded “Janet is a wonderful wife and mother, she’s perfect and I am so proud of her”.