Frederick M. Janney, age 74, of Pinckney, MI, passed away on November 9, 2020 due to kidney failure while battling cancer. He was surrounded by loved ones in his home. He was born in Manhattan, New York on March 11, 1946, son of Charles Janney and Eva Skibinsky and raised from birth in the Bronx. On September 4, 1994, Frederick married Bonnie Jean Abbott, and she survives him.
As an adult, Fred ventured outside New York, seeking intellectual and spiritual growth. He studied at the American University in Washington D.C., and he studied Judaism on a Kibbutz in Israel. At mid-life, Fred eventually found his home in Michigan where he settled into a rural, meditative life, exploring Christian philosophies. Ultimately, Fred took inspiration from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the story of an ex-convict who struggles to start afresh upon his release from prison. Fred earned a Master's in Clinical Psychology from Wichita State University, became a psychologist to prisoners, and dedicated his life and career to their self-development and growth. Much of his career was spent at the Ryan Correctional Facility, where he helped launch the Anthroposophical Prison Outreach program and supported the program’s international growth.
He also collaborated with Buzz Alexander of the University of Michigan, a fellow prisoner advocate, facilitating the creation of artworks by the incarcerated and sharing them with the world. Fred was an avid tennis and pickleball player, enjoyed acting as a hobby, and had a charming sense of humor. He was deeply involved with the Board of the Anthroposophical Society and a devoted advocate of Rudolf Steiner and his philosophies.
In addition to his wife, Bonnie, survivors include his step-sons, Scot (Tamara) Wood and their children, Andrew and Chelsea; Dale Wood, and his children, Derek and Danny; his son, Eathan (Christine) Janney, and their son, Ezekiel “Zeki”; and step-children from his former marriage: Alan Weiland, Joe (Maureen) Weiland and their child, Justin; Spencer (Tammy) Weiland, and their child, Rachel; Marnie (Mike Guicciard) Weiland; nephews, Jordan (Debi) Plasker, and their children, Alec and Casey; Noel (Laurie) Plasker, and their children Chloe, Ethan and Leo; Eric (Lisa) Plasker, and their children Jacob, Emily and Cory; his brother-in-law, Ken (Debbie) Abbott and their family; his nephew’s family: James Abbott, Suzanne Abbott, Sarah Abbott, Andrew Abbott, and Theresa Abbott; and nieces’ families: Michelle (Steve Sayre) Abbott, Kaitlynn McMichael, Kyle McMichael, Kristin (Anthony Scott Liles) Abbott, Ashley Liles, Madison Liles, and Lauren Abbott. Frederick was preceded in death by his brother, Richard Janney, sister, Barbara Plasker.
Burial is private. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual Memorial Service will be held on Sat, Jan 23, 2021. RSVP here: https://fred-janney-memorial.eventbrite.com. Donations may be given in Frederick’s name to the Anthroposophical Prison Outreach project: https://www.anthroposophyforprisoners.org