Janice Baldwin (1935–1999): Proofreader, Transcriber, Editor/Rewriter

Janice graveJanice Baldwin, SWET member and Tokyo resident since 1972, died of leukemia on March 23, 1999. Over the years, Janice worked in most of the fields under the SWET umbrella, and many of SWET’s early meetings were held in the Baldwin home in Minami-Aoyama. She was a fast, reliable proofreader, transcriber, and editor/rewriter with the highest professional standards. Colleagues at the University of Tokyo Press remember her ability to turn sloppy, handwritten pages into a perfectly spelled, grammatically correct, and impeccably formatted manuscript ready to hand to the printer. Editors at Excerpta Medica regularly sent poor-quality tapes of medical presentations in a variety of accents to Janice on a tight schedule, and they came back before the deadline in seamless prose, with the acronyms spelled out, repetitions deleted, and poor grammar fixed up. Her vast general knowledge, willingness to pursue arcane references, and specialized vocabularies in a variety of fields were much appreciated by organizations involved in English-language publishing, including the Foreign Ministry, the Asian Productivity Organization, and Lingua Guild.

Janice also had a special spirit, warmth, and generosity that delighted her many friends.  An avid reader, superb, adventurous cook, and tireless explorer of Tokyo, she developed a spacious, multicultural lifestyle with room for all types of people. A total lack of pretense and boundless curiosity endeared Janice to all who knew her. Her grace and good humor supported so many of us while we negotiated difficult patches of professional and private life or celebrated milestones. Janice is greatly missed by her husband, son, and daughter, and by clients, colleagues, and friends.

In a small cemetery near Lake Nojiri, where the Baldwins spent many summers, stands this memorial to Janice, engraved with a verse remembering Janice by a long-time friend.

Originally published in the SWET Newsletter, No. 85 (May 1999), p. 14; prepared by Cynthia Yenches with contributions from Becky Davis, Cindy Mullins, Wayne Root, Mark Schilling, Susie Schmidt, Doreen Simmons, and Robert Wargo.


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