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In Memoriam: Janelle Kirtley-Godfrey

Jane Ellen "Janelle" Kirtley-Godfrey, age 73, of Quinton, Ala., died peacefully at home on April 28, 2017. Janelle was born Dec. 8, 1943 in Birmingham to the late Robert H. Kirtley and the late Mary Leona Perry Kirtley. Under the guidance of her parents, Janelle became a skilled water skier, and began competing in water skiing tournaments in 1956. In 1959, at the age of 15, she competed with the U.S. Women's National Water Ski team in Milan, Italy. She went on to win the overall competition in the Masters Water Ski Tournament in 1960. She won the women’s world slalom title in 1961, and the tricks and slalom titles in 1963. She also performed in ski shows at Cypress Gardens.

She graduated from Banks High School in 1961, and in 1962 she enrolled in the School of Nursing at St Vincent's in Birmingham. She worked as a nurse at Saint Vincent Hospital in Birmingham Al, and then raised her three sons in Forestdale and Adamsville. Later, she conducted health screenings for Equifax and was a Jefferson County school bus driver for Minor High School until her retirement in 2011. Following her marriage to Roland Godfrey, Janelle joined Crumly Chapel United Methodist Church. She and her family were active members, and Janelle kept the church nursery every Sunday for many years. In 2001, Janelle gained the Award of Distinction from the USA Water Ski Foundation's Water Ski Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Alabama Water Ski Hall of Fame in 2016. She enjoyed attending the ASHOF banquet every year since her induction. Janelle was wonderfully caring and selfless, and always put her family first. She was a nurturing soul that rejoiced in the joy in others.

Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 2 at Crumly Chapel United Methodist Church at noon with viewing from 10 a.m. until time of service at the church. Burial will follow in the adjoining cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Crumly Chapel United Methodist Church at 336 Crumly Chapel Road, Birmingham, AL 35214. The family would like to thank Jasper Alabama Hospital.

Janelle is survived by her husband of 52 years, Roland Godfrey of Adamsville, Ala.; sons Bill Godfrey of Quinton, Perry Godfrey (Faviola) of El Paso, Texas, and Doug Godfrey (Kristen) of Southbury, Conn.; brother Bobby Kirtley (Glenda) of Adger, Ala.; eight grandchildren: Maelissa, Olivia, Kirt, Mark, John, Miranda, Claire and Stephen Godfrey; and great-grandson Brody Osborne.





















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