Janet Marion Atherton

December 20, 1932 - March 14, 2024

After a continuing struggle with cancer, Janet Marion Atherton passed from this world to the next at home on March 14, 2024. She lived the last and best thirty-one years of her life here in Hendersonville.

Janet, born December 20, 1932, was the first of two daughters born to Florence and Robert Thompson, living on Long Island, New York. She proudly attended Our Lady of Wisdom Academy, and she won the French Medal when she graduated in 1950.

Janet worked for years in the gynecological and obstetrical field, assisting doctors in their offices. During these years, she raised her three daughters on Long Island and in New Jersey. In her then-limited time, she took up tennis.

Through an old friend, Janet met the love her life, Charles (Chuck) Atherton, while attending a party on Long Island. In 1985, they married and Janet moved back to Long Island. Chuck introduced her to her love-hate relationship with golf; she really just played for the lunch events following the round. They would dance the night away with their friends at Brookville Country Club.

After they retired, they moved to Flat Rock and Hendersonville, where they lived in Kenmure, Champion Hills, Timber Creek, Glen Brook, and finally Brookside. Chuck continued to play golf, and Janet retired her clubs, but not her lunches with her many friends. She was very proud of the work she did with the Hendersonville Guardian Ad Litem program, helping children secure safe homes. She gardened and spent many happy hours walking the neighborhood and talking to friends. During these years, she and Chuck travelled to Europe, Hawaii, and Florida. In November of 2012, Chuck passed away after a brief illness. Janet continued to volunteer at the hospital and on Board positions in her Brookside community.

Janet is survived by her daughters Lisa Mauriello (née Bentley), Karen Goydan (née Bentley) and her husband William, Cynthia Hemley (née Kowalyk) and her husband Seth, and her sister Carol Witkovsky (née Thompson). She is also fortunate to have watched her grandchildren grow to young adulthood: Hayley Goydan Donaldson and her husband Nico, Claire Goydan, Drew Goydan, Julia Goydan, William Goydan, Thomas Goydan, Katherine Hemley, Jared Hemley, and Sabrina Hemley. Janet also lived to see the next generation in her great-granddaughter Belén María Donaldson.

Services will be held at 11am Thursday March 21 in the Chapel of Church Street Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Medical Loan Closet of Henderson County, Attn: Betsy or MAHEC Women’s Health Center-Vulvar Clinic, Attn: Dr. Kiran Sigmon.

Memorial Service

Thursday, March 21, 2024
11:00 AM

Church Street Funeral Chapel - Directions
125 South Church Street
Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792


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  • March 23, 2024
    Susan and Michael Ganz says:
    Remembering Janet has a strong woman who seemed to take on any challenge that came her way. Sending our thoughts, prayers, and hugs. With condolences, The Ganz Family