Janelle Maka

Janelle (Orpen) Maka, 39, passed away on March 2, 2019 in Boston, MA from injuries suffered in an accident just days earlier. A resident of Amherst, NH for the last 12 years, Janelle also spent weekends and summers in Kennebunkport, ME.

Janelle was born on April 5, 1979 in Woburn, MA, the daughter of Richard and Allison (Sparkes) Orpen. After graduating from Woburn High School in 1997, she attended Babson College in Wellesley, MA where she earned her bachelor of science degree in 2001 with a concentration in marketing. She went on to work in the textbook publishing industry doing business development before leaving to start a family.

Janelle’s most fulfilling role in life was being a mom to her two beautiful daughters, Haley and Emerson. She truly loved being a mother and all of the joys that it provided. Janelle took great delight in spending time with her family at the beach, traveling, or just hanging out together at home.

Janelle was known for her heartfelt compassion, endless generosity, and ferocious loyalty. She was always there when a friend or family member was struggling, needed a helping hand, or just wanted someone to talk to. The ultimate sounding board, Janelle would always make time for those who needed counsel or support; to be considered a friend of Janelle’s was an enormous privilege. Janelle was also a fighter. Her cerebral palsy taught her to persevere and to overcome adversity, to be direct and challenge others, even when the odds were against her.

She is survived by her loving husband Michael Maka and daughters Haley and Emerson Maka, all of Amherst, NH, her parents Richard and Allison Orpen of Woburn, MA, brother Brian Orpen of Woburn, MA, as well as numerous extended family members.

A Memorial Mass in Janelle’s honor will be held on March 23, 2019 at 10AM at St. Barbara’s Parish Church in Woburn, MA. A Celebration of Life is planned for May in Kennebunkport, ME for relatives and close friends. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Janelle’s memory to either the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust in Kennebunkport, ME or the Currier Art Center in Manchester, NH.

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