Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

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Janice Sylvia Fienberg Rothbaum

Janice Sylvia Fienberg Rothbaum died Tuesday, July 21, at the age of 90 at Carle Hospital in Urbana.

A memorial reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 9, 2015, in the Huegy Lounge at Clark-Lindsey Village, 101 W. Windsor, Urbana.

rothbaumJanice was born August 9, 1924 in Bennington, Vermont to Harry and Anna Fienberg.

She had two brothers, George and Bernard who preceded her in death.

Janice loved writing, singing, and acting.

She was valedictorian of the senior class at Bennington High School in 1942. She received a degree in radio journalism from Syracuse University and pursued a career in radio at stations in Boston and upstate New York.

In 1948 she married Melvin Rothbaum, whom she had met in high school. Raising a family put a hold on Janice’s career. They had two children, Susan and Jeremy.

Melvin’s job brought them to Europe where they lived for a year, based in Geneva. They then lived for 6 years in Los Angeles before moving to Champaign-Urbana in 1962.

When her children reached their teens, Janice went back to school and earned a Masters in Social Work from the U of I. She then worked at the Adler Mental Health Center with emotionally disturbed and developmentally disable children, eventually becoming Director of Social Work and Community Services for a 16-county area. She also worked for the Urbana Public Schools and in private practice.

In 1982 she was voted Social Worker of the Year for her district.

Upon retirement, Janice and Melvin embarked on a series of travel adventures around the world, exploring five continents.

Janice also pursued a lifelong dream to be on the stage performing in at least 40 roles at the Station Theater, Parkland College, Krannert Center and various other venues. The magnificent conclusion to her acting career was the lead role in the play 4,000 Miles last summer at the Station. The closing performance coincided with her 90th birthday, which the sold out theater then celebrated.

Janice loved good food and entertaining and was a gourmet cook. She was loved for her wit and humor, her generosity and talent and her exuberant personality.

She leaves behind her husband of 67 years, her two children and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Liberty.

Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.