JANET FINN RODAT
October 14, 1931 ~ December 9, 2022
Resident of Saratoga, California
Janet Finn Rodat, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully on December 9, 2022, surrounded by her family, at her home on Maui. She was 91.
Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Janet was the fourth of five children of Elsie and Edward C. DuBois. Her London-born father had immigrated to the U.S., where he later graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to become a successful stockbroker. During World War II, he left the brokerage firm to assist the U.S. war effort in Washington D.C. His death in 1949 prompted her mother to relocate the family to Hillsborough, California, to be near relatives, and then to San Francisco.
Raised a devout Catholic, Janet attended St. Rose Academy, a Catholic high school for girls. She then attended a local college, where she met Andrew William Finn, a University of San Francisco student, at a school dance. In 1950, they eloped, later settling into a rental flat near USF.
Following the births of their first three children in San Francisco, Janet pushed her husband to move the family away from the city’s eternal fog to a sunnier spot. They landed in Santa Clara, then Willow Glen, and the family added three more children.
While her spouse launched a career in real estate, Janet ran a tight ship at home. Poised and well-mannered, she insisted they follow her lead, and be kind, courteous and humble. Every Sunday, she rounded them up for 12:15 p.m. Mass at their local parish.
If she had any free time, Janet played golf or tennis, often arriving in her tennis outfit during her children’s sports matches, where she rooted them on. She was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants, S.F. 49ers, and Golden State Warriors. She once treated one of her son’s entire den of Cub Scouts to a Giants game.
Her father, a classically-trained pianist, gave Janet a love of music, and her children recall her listening to Rachmaninoff, singing or dancing to Frank Sinatra and later, country music. She was quick-witted, and loved a good joke. But she was also a realist, and the often feast-or-famine nature of her husband’s job over the years had taken a toll on their marriage. By the time their three eldest children were in college, the couple divorced.
Not long afterwards, and to stay busy, Janet landed a part-time job in the mid-1970s selling women’s sportswear at Oshman’s Sporting Goods. One day, businessman and widower Fred “Fritz” Rodat walked in with his teenage daughter Marina to buy her a ski outfit. Janet helped them, and the two parents hit it off. In May 1977—and for the second time in her life—Janet eloped with her fiancee, this time to Maui.
Their combined families now included nine children, two of whom moved with the newlyweds to Salem, Ore., where Fritz oversaw a successful plumbing supply business. The couple’s love of golf prompted them to buy a home near the 10th hole of a local golf club. And despite the endless rain, Janet could continue playing tennis on indoor courts. When she wasn’t engaged in sports or swing-dancing with her husband, she was volunteering her time at an adult reading program.
After 20 years, Fritz retired and the couple relocated to Sonoma County, where they again lived on a golf course. Until his passing in 2005, they spent time on the links, and traveled the world, including to their vacation home on Maui. Their dancing prowess had earned them the pet name of “Fast Freddy and Jammin’ Janet.”
To be closer to family, Janet later moved from Sonoma County to Saratoga. But every year, during her birthday month in October, she relocated to Maui, then headed home to Saratoga just before Mother’s Day. Though increasingly frail, she had just celebrated Thanksgiving there with her oldest son at his nearby Maui home, and was in good spirits. She was looking forward to Christmas. She had lived a good life.
Janet is survived by her children: Stephen Finn, Janet Miller (Keith), David Finn (Beverly), Andrew Finn, Jr., Donald Finn (Rebeca), Marina Rogers (Stephen), and Bob Rodat, as well as 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by her brother and three sisters, her two husbands, and children Laura Finn and Bill Rodat.
A Memorial Mass for Janet will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 15, 2023, at Mission Santa Clara de Asis, on the Santa Clara University campus, followed by a reception at the Adobe Lodge. The family will hold a private ceremony at St. John’s Cemetery in San Mateo, where Janet will be interred alongside her maternal grandparents, her mother, her daughter, and near many other maternal relatives.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Janet’s memory be made to Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School.
Notice #: 0001400934-01