Putney - Janet Elaine Wells (née Rosenthal), was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in 1928, and ended her life peacefully in the presence of family at her beloved home in Putney, Vermont on October 27, 2018.
She would tell all who knew her (and many who didn’t) that she spent most of her life in two towns that both began with “P-U” and ended in “N-E-Y”. She shared endless stories of her vibrant, precocious childhood on a Pennsylvania block in post-war America, opening a vivid window into a different time.
She began her undergraduate degree at the young age of 16 at Case Western Reserve University, after which she moved to New York and completed her Masters degree at the Teachers College at Columbia University. Janet studied with Isabelle Vengerova and Nadia Reisenberg in New York and would later hold affiliations with the Julius Hartt School of Music, Wyndham College, and the Brattleboro School of Music. Janet’s life was devoted to her prodigal gift of classical piano, which she excelled in since starting at the age of 5, and her beloved husband, David Wells (1927-2012). Her other loves were based in this union: her two sons, her three grandchildren, her home in Putney, and her slew of cocker spaniels.
After moving to Putney in 1968, Janet and David started the Yellow Barn in 1969, a source of great joy for them both for many years. Janet was lucky to have cultivated long lasting, deep friendships over several decades in her beloved Putney community, many of whom were able to visit her in the last days and weeks. The legacy of Janet and David Wells lives on through The Yellow Barn, their son Dana, their three grandchildren Nikolai, Kira, and Louisa, and the loving memories held by every musician and friend who experienced their magnanimous presence and friendship.
The grandchildren would especially like to thank Janet’s friend Rick for his kind help and her amazing caregivers over the last six years: Kim, Mary, Patty, Carolyn, Samantha, Almut and Donna; you all made an enormous impact on her final years.
We will be organizing a celebration of Janet’s life in late spring to early Summer 2019 at the Wells’ beloved barn in Putney.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Yellow Barn, PO Box 507, Putney, VT 05346.