Obituary: Jana Avram, 1970-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Jana Avram, 1970-2024 

Personal trainer was also recognized for her exceptional face painting skills

Published February 6, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

Jana Baldwin Avram was taken from us suddenly and unexpectedly on January 30, as the result of a medical event.

Born on January 4, 1970, she was the third child of Dillon and Martha Baldwin of Middlebury, Vt., and also their first daughter (and daddy’s little girl) after older brothers Patrick and Paul. Her brother Brian and sister Megan followed after her.

Jana, always social, athletic and a good student, was elected class president of Middlebury Union High School’s tightly knit class of 1988 — the same group with which she celebrated a 35th reunion last year. Jana played lacrosse in the early days of lacrosse at MUHS and was an incredible field hockey goalie. When she went to the University of Vermont, she hung up her field hockey cleats and played a season of women’s club ice hockey, where she was roped into playing goalie, yet again. Jana graduated from UVM with an athletic training degree. She worked in school systems, orthopedic practices and medical clinics, eventually transitioning to personal training.

While in college, Jana met Briant Hamrell, whom she married in 1996. Their marriage resulted in the two greatest joys of her life, her twin sons Max and Dillon, who were born in 1999. Their quick, bright smiles and friendly nature are her lasting legacy, and she was incredibly proud of them.

With her growing young boys as canvases, Jana was able to express her love of Halloween with frequent face painting and costume changes. Her face painting talent didn’t go unnoticed, and it was suggested that she consider starting a face painting business. In 2007 she did just that, under the name Trading Faces. She met Sean Avram, her second husband, at a face-painting convention, and the couple fell in love. Together, they were a celebrated couple in the industry and went on to do many events, including trade shows and television. Jana even appeared as a model on the cover of Illusion magazine. In Vermont, they rebranded Trading Faces into the new entity Hyperfocus Art. Jana and Sean painted Vermont faces for a decade, pre-pandemic, in locations such as the Champlain Valley Fair, Maple Tree Place, the July Fourth celebration at Burlington’s waterfront, and countless birthday parties and events.

Jana converted her personal training business to an in-home, internet-based format during the pandemic, and her clients loved it. They collaboratively decided to continue training online, which meant Jana could spend her days overlooking the mountains and beautiful Lake Iroquois from their home in Hinesburg. Jana had just recently become a cancer exercise specialist, after beating breast cancer herself in 2021, and she was planning on launching a training website that would help many others in their recovery.

Jana was predeceased by her father, F. Dillon Baldwin, in 2004. She is survived by her mother, Martha Baldwin; her sons, Max and Dillon Hamrell; her husband, Sean Avram; her stepchildren, Anya, Hayden and Kendall; and her siblings, Patrick (Christine) Baldwin, Paul (Stephanie) Baldwin, Brian Baldwin and Megan (Andy) Rubman. She is also survived by her niece and nephews Morgan (Jacob), Nicholas, Samuel (Montoya), Cody, Jesse, Christopher, Cooper, Carson, Jake, Noah and Isaac. She is additionally survived by Briant Hamrell and her special aunt, Anne Baldwin. All who knew her will miss her bright smile and loving nature.

A scholarship at MUHS in Jana’s memory is currently being established, and more information will be shared with the Middlebury community once it is finalized.

A celebration of life will be held at LaVigne Funeral Home, 132 Main St., Winooski, VT, on Wednesday, February 7, from 4 to 8 p.m. Viewing will take place from 4-7 p.m., with a memorial service at 7 p.m., which will be live streamed. If time allows, the family will be happy to take additional visitors until 8 p.m.

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