Janice M. Featherly, of Minong, Wis., died peacefully on Friday, Sept. 21, in the home she shared with her son. She was 83.
Janice was born in Drummond, Wis., on Feb. 18, 1935, one of four children born to Vivian and Ole E. Jorgenson. She had not finished high school when she graduated to motherhood, yet she possessed a keen intelligence and rare wisdom that made her the rock of her large family. She faced a life of many challenges and frequent hardship with strength, grace, love, humor and irascibility. Of her, I once remarked to a sibling, “I’ve never known anyone who could be so ornery and still have everyone adore her.”
Janice lived for moments spent with her children and her scores of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She loved her Green Bay Packers and her Chicago Cubs. She was an avid reader of suspense fiction and historical romance. She delighted in flowers, wildlife and gentle summer breezes. She was a fan of early rock-and-roll and country music and was a devotee of Elvis Presley, Conway Twitter and Lee Greenwood. She also loved coffee and conversation. Many in Minong will remember the countless mornings she spent at Wendy’s Cafe, rolling dice with her coffee klatsche to determine whose turn it was to pay.
A child of the Great Depression and WWII, Janice committed herself to her Christian faith and to the difficult toil and struggle of a working-class wife and mother of the last century’s middle decades.
Her husband, Phillip N. Featherly, a truck driver, logger and plant foreman, died in 1985. She never remarried.
Hers was the good life of an engaging and resourceful woman who often sewed the clothes and canned the food for her family. She was richly rewarded with the devotion of friends, family and the seven children who all survive her. Her light will shine within those she loved for many generations.
Besides her husband, father and mother, Janice was preceded in death by her sister, Jacquelyn Andren. Her stepfather, Falke Helden, whom she regarded as her real dad, was a veteran of WWII who died in 1987. Her mother, the long-time Drummond city clerk, was Janice’s lifelong hero. Her grandson, Brian Miller, died at age 29 in 2005.
She is survived by her children, Christine (Arvis) Holland of Minong; Philip “Sonny” Featherly of Minong; Douglas (Tammy) Featherly of Bessemer, Mich.; Cecelia (Jim) Jayme of St. Croix Falls, Wis.; Kurtis (Linda) Featherly, of Minong; Kevin (Tammy Nelson) Featherly, of Bloomington, Minn.; and Bruce Featherly, who lived with and cared for his mother in Minong. Janice also is survived by her sister, Kathryn Frederick, of Drummond, and her brother Rendy Jorgenson, of Fitchburg, Mass.
A memorial celebration is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, with visitation at 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and services from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The River Church, N13205 Rice Lake Road, Minong, Wis. Fellowship will follow at the Town of Minong Hall at W7095 Nancy Lake Road, Minong.
This is my own version of my mom’s obit. A different version, not written by me, ran today in the Spooner Advocate.