Ms. Stephanie Ann Janke

Ms. Stephanie Ann Janke

Ms. Stephanie Ann Janke

Ms. Stephanie Ann Janke
September 30, 1960 – February 22, 2021

Stephanie Ann Janke, 60, of Naples passed away on Monday, February 22, with family by her side. She was born to Nancy Dawson (Hicks) and the late Charles Hicks on September 30, 1960 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Loving mother of Emily Janke (Sean Lynch) and Alex Janke; sister to Charles Hicks (Sandy), Allison (Hicks) Colobert, Eric Hicks (Lynn Boose), and the late Jennifer Hicks; and cherished niece to her aunts and uncles. She was known affectionately as “Aunt Steph” to her many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. Stephanie was also a proud cat mom to her sweet and sassy Bootsie and a dear friend to many.

After graduating from McAuley High School in 1978, Stephanie majored in Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati. Universally acknowledged for her ability to make all who knew her feel important and loved, Stephanie touched countless lives through her years of working with children.

As a swimming lesson instructor and pre-school teacher at the Gamble Nippert YMCA (Cincinnati, Ohio), Stephanie discovered her passion for teaching and coaching. She went on to work as the receptionist and swim coach at Colerain High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) where she received the “Friend of Children” Award. Stephanie’s flair for cultivating relationships with students whom she mentored and coached will serve as her legacy.

Stephanie spent her final years living where she always dreamed she would: beachside. Her love of the ocean waves even surpassed the joy she had for the Christmas season.

Stephanie will be remembered most for her kind heart, infectious optimism, and warmth. She was our sunshine.

Due to COVID restrictions and for safety purposes, the family will be holding a private celebration of life ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Stephanie’s name. Personal condolences may be offered to the family online at


Sharon Branson

February 26, 2021, 3:30 pm

The world lost a wonderful soul that day. We will miss her..she will always be loved.

Aunt Evie

February 26, 2021, 3:50 pm

My heart will always be full of our Stephanie’s smile and laughter and love. She will always be my EIEI sweetie. May you rest in God’s arms until we meet again. I love you so my Stephanie! X o

Deb Geho & Phil Colon Unit 201

February 26, 2021, 4:41 pm

To Stephanie’s family,
Please know that Stephanie was a sweet and gentle neighbor to me and my husband.
Her lovely smile is in my heart.
Please accept our heart-felt condolences.

Nina Hicks

February 26, 2021, 5:03 pm

My deepest sympathy goes out to all the family. Stephanie was a beautiful lady inside and out and she will be missed by many. My love goes out to all the family and all I could say is, you will always have great memories. Keep them near to your heart always, because that is where she will be.

Love to all of you!

Sandy Wysocki-Brandt

February 26, 2021, 5:46 pm

To the Hicks Family,
So sorry for the loss of this beautiful woman! May all your fond memories of Stephanie get you through this difficult time! My prayers and thoughts are with you all!
Love, Sandy Wysocki-Brandt

Paul and Mary Jane Ceffalio

February 26, 2021, 6:08 pm

We are sorry for your loss. Stephanie was a wonderful caring person, who always had a smile and kind word for everyone. She will be missed by all her family and friends who loved her dearly. Rest In Peace Stephanie.

Debra Deiss

February 26, 2021, 6:24 pm

Dear Nancy (and family)
So sorry to hear of Stephanie’s passing. Sending sympathy and prayers.
Debra Deiss

Marlenia (Lena Bennett) Kerns

February 26, 2021, 7:01 pm

Stephanie was truly a wonderful person. We worked together at the YMCA for many years, and she was a preschool teacher to both my sons. Her beautiful smile would light up the room and her laughter was infectious to those around her. I didn’t realize when I spoke with her in December it would be the last time…forever in my memories.

Betty Leaf

February 26, 2021, 8:03 pm

So sorry for your loss Nancy You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tricia Cefalu Cross

February 26, 2021, 8:28 pm

So heartbreaking….. prayers and thoughts from the entire Cefalu family to your family. Ours families were so intertwined growing up together as next door neighbors. You will be missed. Rest In Peace Stephanie.

Stephanie Roa

February 26, 2021, 8:57 pm

Such a kind, beautiful & loving soul. So many fun memories with her. Prayers and love for the family!

Rob Wysocki

February 26, 2021, 8:59 pm

Haven’t seen Steph in a long time but all reading this know, that once your met her you would not soon forget.
Her zest for life, beaming smile and passionate caring demeanor truly made her special.
I don’t know what God’s plans are for her but he certainly took back a gift to us all!

Brenda Ritchie

February 26, 2021, 11:57 pm

Stef was not only a wonderful co-worker, but a fantastic friend. We had some awesome times with our shenanigans both in Cincinnati and Naples. Heaven gained a lovely .

Catherine Schildknecht

February 27, 2021, 12:38 am

I will always remember the many times together at Marlins meets and practices when our daughters and sons swam together. Stephanie was always so poitive and happy that one was always uplifted in her presence. Condolences to both Emily and Alex.

Elizabeth Widders (Forrester)

February 27, 2021, 1:02 am

I am so sorry to hear of this extremely upsetting loss. This woman was a strong, uplifting example to all she encountered. She made everyone feel like someone. She was an angel on Earth, who God now has looking over her family and the rest of her loved ones.

Christine Heaton

February 27, 2021, 1:17 am

Stephanie was a wonderful friend. She will be greatly missed.

Nick Gray

February 27, 2021, 1:28 am

One of the most kind, caring, loving people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. The Colerain family will not be the same without her.


February 27, 2021, 2:17 am

Where to start this all seems so unreal!!! I met Stephanie as me being a student at colerain high school. She was a kind, loving, and caring receptionist. Her smile brightened up the whole room. I remember having so much fun being her helper in the office that I would always want to miss my next bell to just stay and help her. She always told me to follow my dreams and I can be whatever I put my mind to. She will be truly and dearly missed!!
Love Mersades

Diana Warmoth

February 27, 2021, 3:08 am

Stephanie was a wonderful person – beautiful inside & out! My heart is so sad to know that she has passed, but I am fortunate to have known her personally. She made me laugh; she made me smile; if you knew her, you knew she cared. RIP dear Stephanie…heaven shines a bit brighter with you there.

Sherry Murray

February 27, 2021, 3:52 am

Stephanie touched so many lives, she was the funniest, sweetest friend to so many…she will be sorely missed. Sending love and prayers to all of her family♥️

Kristy Ortwein Stewart

February 27, 2021, 4:58 am

My heart goes out to the family. Stephanie was a sweet person, always went out of her way for the kids at school. My prayers are with you all, she will be deeply missed. God rest your beautiful soul Stephanie.

Heather Schaefer (Patterson)

February 27, 2021, 6:08 am

I will always remember that bright smile as I got that late pass because we went to breakfast and all strategically came in to get passes so we would not get busted. We thought we were slick and I am 100% sure she knew what we were up to. Love that you got to retire in a beautiful place, my place of birth Naples. May your family be comforted by the lives you touched.

Donna Schafer Niederbaumer

February 27, 2021, 6:46 am

I am so sorry for your loss. Stephanie was always a kind and positive person. I truly enjoyed her beautiful posts on Facebook. I grew up in the neighborhood with the Hicks family, so I’ve known Stephanie for a very long time. Her passing is so heartbreaking. Prayers for comfort and peace to her family and friends.

Celine Quinn

February 27, 2021, 11:20 am

Emily and Shaun:

Ron, Kevin and I are so sorry to hear the news about your dear mother. Our hearts are with you as you bear the burden of her loss. Love, Celine

Mary Beth Weierman (Kern)

February 27, 2021, 11:42 am

To Stephanie’s Family.
As a classmate at St. James and McAuley and a member of the WOMH Kiwanis softball team growing up Stephanie was always a joy to be around. Heaven gained a beautiful angel. She will not be easily forgotten. May you cherish the memories and hold them close to your heart. Wisdom and strength to get you through this difficult time.

Pam May

February 27, 2021, 1:47 pm

I had the great pleasure of working with Stephanie at a retirement community here in Naples. She brought endless smiles and laughter to every activity and event we had. She made this world a better place and will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace Steph❤️

Cynthia Siegel

February 27, 2021, 2:54 pm

Our deepest sympathy and love from all of our extended families to yours. The Siegels, Brehms, and Corsmeiers.

Phyllis Carter Bell

February 27, 2021, 4:05 pm

Stephanie was a bright light in the world. I enjoyed my friendship with her during the many years we worked together at Colerain. She had an infectious smile and a warm heart for all those she encountered. My deepest condolences to the entire family and much love to Alex and Emily.

Ann Wasserman

February 27, 2021, 8:15 pm

I will always remember our time spent together as swimming officials while our children swam for the Cincinnati Marlins. Stephanie had such a sweet personality and that million dollar smile! She would light up a room-or pool deck, as the case may be! My heartfelt condolences go out to her children, Emily and Alex and her entire family. May Steph’s memory always be for a blessing to her family and all who mourn her passing.

Brenda Smith

February 27, 2021, 10:22 pm

Stephie, my dear friend and neighbor; I just cannot believe you are gone. You were always a delight to be around. Your smile and caring spirit were loved by all who met you. I have so many memories with you. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with me. I am so happy to have known such a lovely, kind person. My heart is so sad and I will miss you everyday. My deepest condolences to Nancy, Allison, Charlie, Sandy, Alex, Emily and family. Be with the angels Stephie; teach them what compound word are and smile down on us! Love ya,


February 27, 2021, 10:24 pm

Stephanie was wonderful person and helped my daughter at the Y and at Colerain. So sad to hear. Prayers for all.

Erin Ragouzis

February 28, 2021, 3:43 pm

I am very saddened to hear this news. Coach Janke provided so many cherished memories not only on the pool deck, but every day at school as well. She was always there when you needed a listening ear or a good giggle; providing love, support and that never ending smile. I am very lucky to have had her in my life, and I wish the family all the best.

Linda Wheeler Trenn

February 28, 2021, 4:07 pm

Knowing Stephanie since 2nd grade, words cannot express the loss we all feel. She was always so nice and caring to everyone. I’m so glad I got to talk with her at our reunion. Her smile was the most genuine smile I’ve ever seen. She impacted so many people for the better. Fly high, Stephanie, as I know you will continue to help others from Heaven.

Debi Biddle

March 1, 2021, 1:39 pm

So sorry to hear this. I worked with Stephanie at the Gamble-Nippert YMCA during our college years. She was a blast to work with. She always had that beautiful smile on her face . She had me laughing all the time. Sometimes I would hang out with her and her friends on the weekend when she went to see her boyfriend at the time, play in his band at East End.
Prayers for the family.

Carol A. Cain

March 1, 2021, 10:10 pm

Stephanie was a great person to work with at Colerain High. We had some great times together. My prayers are with Emily and Alex and the Hicks family.
She had a great smile and a kind heart.

Brittany Carle- Palm

March 2, 2021, 3:22 am

Ms/Coach Janke, was truly one in a million. Her kind heart, beautiful smile, & compassion for all those her around her made everyone’s day! The world is a little dimmer without her bright light in it. My thoughts & prayers are with Emily, Alex and the rest of her family. May she Rest In Paradise.

Janet Huneke

March 5, 2021, 1:45 am

My heart was broken when I heard of Stephanie’s passing. She was a kind, compassionate, and loving person who will be missed by family and friends.
If Stephanie was your friend, you were a friend for life. Proud to have called her my friend.
Rest in peace Stephanie, the peace you so richly deserve.

Sandy Carroll

March 8, 2021, 1:37 pm

She was my friend that I called Stephie. We worked together at Colerain and coached. Her smile and laughter made this world a better place. I will think of you often and how you lived your life to the fullest and every sunset I will imagine you on the beach doing what you loved.

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