In Memory

Janice Knight (Zamrin-Keller) - Class Of 1964

Submitted by: Susan Efinger Liu

Deceased Classmate: Knight (Zamrin-Keller), Janice (1964)
Date Of Birth: September-17-1946
Date Deceased: March-29-2013
Age at Death: 66
Cause of Death: Heart Failure
Classmate City: Tampa
Classmate State: FL
Classmate Country: USA
Was a Veteran: No
Survived By: Present husband, Joe Zamrin, ex husband, Ken Keller, Daughter, Aimee Keller, Granddaughter, Sydni Boles, Grandson, Justyn Boles, Sister, Joy Llano

Janice transferred to Rivera Beach Junior High in 8th grade. I was lucky as she chose me to be her 'best' friend. Janice generally got what she wanted and, for reasons unknown, she decided that Sue Efinger would be her life time friend. It sounds unbelievable that a 14 year old girl would make such a momentous decision and not give up until she had her way. But that was Janice. Day after day she would come up to me and say, 'do you want some gum'. Of course we weren't supposed to be chewing gum at school, but I always accepted the offer. Soon she was inviting me here and there. I was and still am an introvert and was also very shy (back then). By the time we graduated from RBHS I realized our friendship was one that would always be. My parents moved to Nassau, Bahamas just before senior year. I was upset. Janice said, 'come live with us'. My parents agreed. I spent my senior year living with the Knight family. I left the US after graduation, living in Nassau, Toronto, Canada and San Jose, Costa Rica. During that time Janice (working for Ma Bell) managed to find a way to phone me... and this was no easy accomplishment as the telephone systems were often unreliable. In 1978 I moved back to the states with my husband (now ex) and three daughters. Once again Janice invited me and my family to stay at her home until we decided what our next move would be. Fortunately my ex found a business location in Tampa. Shortly after our return to Florida I divorced him. Again Janice opened her home to me, generously putting me up until I could get settled in my new 'single' state. I could go on and tell so many other extraordinary ways Janice impacted my life with her loyalty, generosity, support, and steadfastness. How we maintained a solid friendship through our divorces. How close our children are. All the holidays we spent together. Janice never missed a chance to remind me how lucky we were to be 'best' friends. That was the way she always introduced me, 'This is my best friend, Susan'--then she would mention how many years we'd been friends. I always wondered 'Why me? why was I the lucky one?'. Janice impacted so many lives. She also, of course, continued to accomplish whatever she set her mind to. She had a huge network of friends and acquaintances. I never heard her say a cruel thing about anyone. She always saw the beauty and goodness in everyone. Janice lived life on her terms, right up till the day she entered the hospital. Fortunately her stay there was short. I believe when she left she had no regrets.


Submitted by: Walter Perine

Deceased Classmate: Janice Knight (Zamrin-Keller) (1964)
Date Of Birth: September-17th-1946
Date Deceased: March-29th-2013
Age at Death: 66
Cause of Death:
Classmate City: Tampa
Classmate State: FL
Classmate Country: USA
Was a Veteran: No
Survived By:

KELLER, Janice K., born September 17, 1946, passed away on Friday, March 29, 2013. Janice was a fun loving, giving person that will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. She was born in Greenville, SC, graduated from Riviera Beach High School in Palm Beach and moved to Tampa in 1974 with her first husband and lifelong friend, Ken Keller. After a long career in the telecommunications industry, she retired Verizon to follow a second calling as a wine shop owner, first in St. Petersburg and most recently in Tampa. Janice is survived by her husband, Joseph Zamrin, her daughter-Aimee Keller, son in law-Bob Pickford, her grandchildren Sydni and Justyn Boles, her sister Joy Llano, brother in law Dennis Llano, nephew Trayson Llano, J.P. Knight and her niece Kali Llano. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please make donations to Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel Foundation-The Center for Women's Health, Gulfside Regional Hospice-Zephyrhills or the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

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04/03/13 08:16 AM #1    

Ken Keller (1963)

I met Janice at an Electrician's Hall dance about 53 years ago. She had an offer: if I taught her how to dance the "Palm Beach", she would teach me how to do the "Hully Gully" (a popular dance to the song of the same name by The Olympics). It sounded like a good deal at the time. And so it was. We started dating and continued almost uninterrupted through high school. We also dated during my college years; I remember hitchhiking home from Tampa to stay at her house on the weekend. My first two years of college were uneventful, but in my junior year I really goofed off and made poor grades. In 1966, that meant you were headed to Vietnam. Janice and I married in the summer of 1966, which upset my mother, since she thought I was too young to be getting married. Nonetheless, because of my draft status, I was able to get a job at Pratt and Whitney. In December, P&W lost the SST contract to GE (a blessing, it later turned out), and I was out a job. Janice was pregnant and we were at our lowest: no money and no jobs. David Hennessy, my sister’s dance partner told me of a job at Western Union delivering telegrams. So I worked at WU in the evening and enrolled at FAU, taking daytime classes. Responsibility had hit me upside the head big time. Janice went back to work for the phone company soon after Aimee was born. I studied as never before, and as a result was accepted into graduate school at Vanderbilt. Janice was able to transfer her job within the Bell system and she worked the whole time I was in graduate school. After getting my degree, we moved to Houston for my postdoctoral training. Once again, Janice was able to transfer within the Bell system, and also was promoted to supervisor. After I finished my postdoc, I took a job in Tampa in 1975. There was no Bell Telephone in Tampa - and no jobs at GTE. So she worked at a bank until she finally convinced GTE to hire her in 1976. She stayed on with GTE/Verizon for 25 years. In 1980, Janice was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had a mastectomy. Six months later, she had a recurrence, and was given a poor prognosis. We later learned that she had inherited (presumably from her father; her mother died at 90) a mutation in BRCA1, a gene associated with breast and ovarian cancer (fortunately, she did not pass it on to Aimee). I remember after a few months of very toxic chemotherapy, she was brushing her hair, and it all just came out on the brush. She started crying, sobbing. Callously I said: "you are now experiencing what 50% of men go through". She stopped crying immediately. No way was she going to be considered weaker than any man. She got in her car, and little while later, came back with some very attractive wigs. Problem solved. She was good at that. She lived another 33 years after that poor prognosis, cancer be damned.

Janice was a people person. She liked everyone that she met (although she argued a lot with Republicans!), and no one didn’t like Janice. The friends that she made (Susan in particular) she kept for life, always offering whatever she could to help a friend out. Her smile and laughter will be missed by many.

I spoke briefly with Janice while she was in the hospital, but I didn't really get tell her what I should have told her: Thank you, Janice. Thanks for supporting us during college and graduate school. Thank you for making me become a responsible person; you were a great role model for hard work. Thank you for my life. What would have happened to me were it not for you? I was failing in school and headed for conscription. Because of you, I was able to realize my potential. Because of you, I have Aimee, and the beautiful grandchildren Sydni and Justyn. How lucky I am, because if you. Rest in peace.

04/03/13 09:11 AM #2    

Steven Carta (1963)

I first met Janice through Ken Keller at RBHS, probably in 1962. I believe she was 16 at the time, pert, pretty and full of life. I secretly envied Ken. I met my first wife, Lynda Hill, in 1964 during my freshman year at UF. She knew Janice well, so I got to know Janice even better. Ken attended UF for a while, and Janice visited often, when I would see her. After my divorce in 1974, I visited Ken and Janice in Tampa and met Aimee for the first time. My recollection is that we went to the Columbia Restaurant for dinner and saw the great Flaminco dancers. Janice was still as pert and vivacious as ever.

I do not believe I saw Janice again until our 40th high school renunion. She and Ken were now divorced; however, as was to be expected, she was as warm and friendly as ever, inviting me to visit with her and her husband any time I was in Tampa.

When I was being treated in Moffitt Cancer Center in 2011, she called me, concerned for my well-being.

In short, Janice has always had a place in my heart, not only because she was the girl friend, then wife, of my good friend, Ken, but because of her loving personality. Despite the great passage of time, I will always think of Janice as the 16 year old pert and pretty girl I met in 1962. May she rest in eternal peace.

Steven Carta

04/03/13 08:57 PM #3    

Walter Perine (1963)

I was really saddened by the news of Janice's passing, and Ken's tribute to her was very difficult for me to read. Even through divorce, it was gratifying to hear that they both remained good friends after all these years..

I'm not actually sure when I first met Janice, but it was probably at one of the dance venues here in West Palm Beach. More than likely Ken introduced her to me by proudly saying, "Hey! What do you think of my new girl"? My thought at the time must have been, "She's too pretty for you", but somehow good manners won out.

Janice was a very strong person, and I know I received a lot of good advice from her in high school. Unfortunately I didn't follow enough of it. Now if the team of Knight and Efinger got together with some much needed constructive criticism, then I knew I better get myself motivated.

Anyway I am sure the good days for Janice out weighed the bad ones, and everyone will eventually smile again recalling some of the humorous moments they shared with her. I have my memories of Janice, and one old Super 8 movie clip just in case I forget her pretty face.

Walter Perine


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