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Janette Hanson 1934 – 2024

Janette Elizabeth (Howard) Hanson, of Sebeka, Minnesota (formerly of Wadena, Minnesota) died at home, January 15, 2024. She was 89.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Karvonen Funeral Home in Wadena. Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wadena with Pastor Nate Loer officiating. Visitation will resume one hour prior to services at church. Janette will be laid to rest at Wadena Cemetery, Wadena, Minnesota.
Janette was born on October 21, 1934 to John Elmer and Clara (Charmley) Howard, at Wesley Hospital in Wadena, where her children were later born. An only child, she grew up in the Jack Pines north of Nimrod, Minnesota, attended country school, which she didn’t like, before enrolling and graduating from Sebeka High School in 1953, which she loved. She graduated from the Fargo School of Business, but her big plans to see the world gave way to a farm boy from Bluegrass named Harlyn whom she’d met in the 8th grade; and eventually married on November 26, 1955. Shortly after, she had three children in 38 months. Harlyn and Janette were married for 61 years until his death in 2017.
Janette worked hard and had a strong work ethic, which she passed onto her kids with such notable quotes as “Hard work never killed anyone,” “I didn’t raise any quitters,” “If you’re bored, go vacuum,” “Make your own fun” and of course, “Take 2 aspirin and keep working!” Few participation ribbons were ever awarded. She would literally run into the house after work, grab an apron to start dinner and immediately delegate chores. When her children’s friends came to the door, she usually met them with a bag of garbage for them to take to the trash bin. In a new generation of working mothers, she worked at Skies Drug and Krause Drug for 40 years, ultimately managing the Hallmark side of Krause Drug. She took up running, long before Title IX and relished sewing, quilt making, reading, antique refinishing, Shetland Sheepdogs, and quiet time at the lake.
Despite her deep belief that faith is central to Christianity, she also provided good works; lots of good works. Like her parents before her, Janette volunteered to her community and church her entire life. She taught Sunday School and confirmation, was a summer camp counselor at Camp Jim, Cub Scout den mother, took mission trips and made mission quilts, meals-on-wheels, was a foster parent, and local order of Does President. Janette was a 56-year member at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wadena, and much to her children’s annoyance; always insisted upon attending the early service. She cherished the congregation at Immanuel.
Janette was mischievously witty and more than a bit sarcastic, once telling her children on the way to school in January, “the defroster isn’t working, so everyone stop breathing; except the driver.” Typically, she laughed loudest (the kackle) at herself, possessing a great self-deprecating humor. She was also wickedly smart and blessed with the “Howard memory.” In the days when we had phone books, family members would always ask her for a phone number before actually looking in a phone book. As she aged and forgot things, she would say, “you know I used to be pretty smart.”
She loved gatherings with friends and family, especially when her children and grandchildren were present. She adored them and they adored her. After every event, she would say, “I had the best time.” Indeed, she did. Always.
Her energy and fast pace came to an abrupt halt on December 28, 2006, when she suffered a massive stroke. She endured the hard work of rehabilitation and the indignancies of her disability with grace, and always reminded friends and family, “It’s okay, I’ve had a great life.”
And now she rests.
She is survived by her three children: Diane (Walt) Leaders, Steve (Lisa), and Rod (Deb); and eight grandchildren: Jim (Tressa) Leaders, Angela Hanson, Dan Hanson, Becca (Alex) Hill, Kaley Krause, Jena (Jed) LaPlante, Brin Hanson and Marin Hanson. Step-grandchildren: Ashley Stadum (Andy Westby) and Bre Halbur, and 16 great grandchildren with the 17th on the way. Sharon Hansen, Diane and Walt and Hospice provided her daily care to the end, and the family is grateful.
Arrangements provided by Karvonen Funeral & Cremation Service of Wadena, Minnesota. Please visit to leave memorials and condolences on Janette’s Tribute Wall.1-24c

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