Janice Southerland

    Birth Date: 08/25/1935
    Deceased Date: 04/24/2024

    Janice Stephenson Southerland, age 88, our dear mother went to be with her Lord and Saviour on April 22, 2024, at UNC Health Johnston Hospital after recent health issues. She was born August 25, 1935, in Smithfield, NC to the late Howard and Ruth Stephenson. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 67 years, Sherwood C. Southerland; her sisters, Dorothy Parker, Patricia (Pat) Bundy and her brother Dewey H. Stephenson, Jr.

    Janice is survived by her two sons, Sherwood Southerland, Jr., and wife Deanna (Dede) of Clayton, NC and Stephen Craig Southerland and wife Bridget of Smithfield, NC; three grandchildren, Robert Tyler Southerland and wife Jenny of Media, PA; Victoria Claire Southerland of Charleston, SC, and Alexander Craig Southerland of Smithfield, NC; sisters Becky Renfrow and husband Edward; Callie Jones of Smithfield along with many nieces and nephews.

    Janice graduated from Smithfield High School and chose a career in accounting. She married the love of her life, Sherwood, in 1955. Early on in her career, she worked in accounting and payroll with local companies such as Coble Dairy and later joined Edward Renfrow & Company Accountants where she worked for 20+ years. While there she was enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service and was a valued and outstanding employee for the firm. It was here she attributed developing thorough knowledge of strong accounting principles and business savvy. This allowed her to open her own successful accounting practice in Smithfield, which she held for 20 years. She always believed her success had its foundation in the skills and knowledge she received with Edward Renfrow. During her professional accounting career, she was a member of the North Carolina Society of Accountants and was elected as the State President in 1982. After selling her practice, Janice worked for Raleigh Federal as a bank teller and finished her career with Collins, Inc. in Smithfield, where she greatly enjoyed the boat business and applying her accounting and financial management skills.

    She was a member of Sharon Baptist church for over 60 years. Janice was involved in teaching Sunday school and found great joy and satisfaction as a choir member for many years. She was also a key member of the Deacon committee. We will remember her as a beloved mother and grandmother and one of her greatest joys was entertaining family and friends whenever possible at the home she and Sherwood built in the country 30 years ago. She and Sherwood also enjoyed their homes in Morehead City and Atlantic Beach, which they had over the years, boating, fishing and simply enjoying life; she often commented those were some of the happiest memories she had. During the last several years she had devoted most of her time to taking care of Sherwood at home while he dealt with an ongoing health issue. But she never wavered and was determined to ensure he was cared for and remained at home for as long as possible, demonstrating her devotion and commitment to him just as she had done in all her life’s endeavors. Janice can best be remembered as the “good and faithful servant” in the spirit of the scripture, and she approached life with this focus and intent always.

    Flowers are appreciated, but if you prefer to make a memorial donation, please consider the SECU Hospice House, c/o Johnston Health Foundation, PO Box 1376, Smithfield, NC 27577.

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