Mrs. Janet Lucille Wanzek

mrs. janet lucille wanzek
Mrs. Janet Lucille Wanzek of Fargo, North Dakota passed away on March 1, 2019 peacefully in her home surrounded by her children after a beautiful life well lived. A proud North Dakota native and co-founder of Wanzek Construction Inc., Janet was 85 years old. Born as Janet Lucille Whitmer in Streeter, North Dakota, she was the second child of Edmund and Lydia (Remmick) Whitmer. Her parents’ families were Germans from Russia and settled in central North Dakota at the turn-of-the-century. Janet grew up speaking German in the home when she was young and later moved to Medina with her parents where she met her husband, Leo Wanzek, who was from nearby Windsor, North Dakota. Leo and Janet were married on December 27, 1952 at St. Mary’s Church in Medina, North Dakota. Janet taught at a one room country school house in Stutsman County, North Dakota. Later, while raising her children, she attended NDSU for interior design and had a natural gift for decorating, design, art, and culture. In addition, Janet was also very active in her role in building and growing Wanzek Construction. Janet was an honorary member of the Board of Trustees of the National Music Museum in Vermilion, South Dakota where the newly planned concert hall will be named in her honor. Janet was also a significant donor to St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Wanzek Parish Center and Offices in downtown Fargo. She donated to the Wanzek Family Breast Center and Infusion Room at the Hennepin Healthcare Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Janet was also a supporter of the annual Fillies Horse Race for Hope (hope chest for breast cancer) at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Additionally, she was a major benefactor of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. Janet was also an active and generous supporter of Bonanzaville in West Fargo where the Wanzek Prairie Store and a street, Wanzek Way, have been named in her honor. Janet was also an active supporter of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. Janet had a very kind, humble, and generous heart and took care of many people throughout her life. She was blessed to have a life full of many friends and many precious years shared with her family and grandchildren. Everyone that knew Janet, especially her grandchildren, knew her as “Nana”. Nana was an elegant, regal, and classy lady and very special to so many people. Her strong charisma and kindness warmly touched many peoples’ hearts. Nana was the strength, inspiration, and matriarch of the family and she will be dearly missed by everyone that had the blessing of knowing her. She taught everyone to appreciate the North Dakota prairie and the simple joys of life. She especially enjoyed her flower gardens, canning pickles, and collecting art and antiques. Janet also became a licensed auctioneer. Janet, a very beloved mother with a strong Christian faith, was blessed with anointing and final prayers at the hour of her death by Fr. Chad Wilhelm. She died peacefully and a beautiful sunset followed that evening. When you look at a sunset please think of Janet. Janet is survived by her three children: Juliet (Neal) Everist of Sioux City, Iowa; Jantze (Dennis) Haley of Golden Valley, Minnesota; and Jon Wanzek of Fargo, North Dakota; her nine grandchildren: Daniel Everist III, Nik Larsen (son of Jantze), Anna Wanzek, Janelle Wanzek, Erich Wanzek, Heidi Wanzek, Maria Wanzek, Jack Wanzek, and Grace Wanzek; and three nieces: Jayme (Robert) Holmberg, Lanette (David) Ludwig, and Marcy (Jon) Nelson. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Leo Anthony Wanzek, parents Edmund and Lydia Whitmer, brother James Whitmer, and grandson Thomas Simon Wanzek. A private funeral will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, North Dakota. She will be interred at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery South in Fargo, next to her loving husband Leo and grandson Thomas. Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo will conduct the services. In lieu of flowers, donations in Janet’s memory may be made to the National Music Museum at 414 E. Clark St., Vermillion, SD 57069. On behalf of our mother, we would like to thank those who took care of her so tenderly, sweetly and gently during the last months of her life. In true Nana fashion, as the nurses say, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”

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  1. Such an amazing and beautiful woman. Rest in Peace Janet – you are with Leo again. My sincere condolences to the entire Wanzek family. Blessings to you all.

  2. Our sincere condolences to the entire family and friends. Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” We know you will deeply miss your mother, grandmother and friend. But what hope each believer has knowing that our Savior raised from the dead and thus we who believe in Christ have the assured hope of rising from the dead to be with Him forever. May God comfort each of your hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. My deepest sympathy’s to the family. Both your parents always were so welcoming when ever our paths crossed.

  4. Jantze & Nik,
    Sorry to read about the passing of your mother/grandmother. I am wishing you peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.

  5. Our deepest sympathies to the family of Mrs. Wanzek. She was a truly remarkable woman, an active supporter of many organizations. She will be deeply missed by the community. The Red River Valley Genealogical Society was one of those organizations that benefited from her generosity.

  6. We send our deepest and sincere condolences to all the Wanzek family. We will miss our dear friend and neighbor Janet. She was a great friend to many and it was always so fun to visit her, she will be dearly missed. Janet had many passions and loved to share here stories and great food. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  7. I had the opportunity to grow up being around the “Bison Boys” and their wives. Leo & Janet, Al & Patty, Leo C. and my parents, Jim & Charlotte. I have to say, whenever they got together it was quite an outing! I was always impressed by the strong bonds of friendship, the desire to enjoy life and the eternal youth of that group. Even as the guys passed away, the last few years of lake adventures in Nevis with the ladies was full of excitement and laughter. It’s been hard to watch this group of friends, who we all expected to be with us forever, leave us. Theirs was a generation that will not be duplicated and I’m thankful I got to experience them first-hand.

  8. Janet was such a great influence in my life..Was the flower girl at Leo and Janet’s wedding, .Babysitting the girls when I was a teenager, helping me decorate our first home and just a lifetime friend..Jantze, do you remember being our flower girl 55 years ago…How time does fly., Sure her family and friends will miss her…but she is happy to reunite with her family & friends…

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