Janis “Jan” Ann Williams, 71, of Maple Lake, near Mentor, MN, passed away Wednesday morning, September 28, 2022, at the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND, with her loving family at her side.
Jan was born in Mankato, MN on July 26, 1951, the daughter and only child of Bernard Anthony and Muriel Ann (Earl) Nentl. She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith and spent her early years in Mankato before the family moved to New Ulm, MN. She attended school at Saint Anthony’s Elementary, graduating from Cathedral High School with the class of 1969. Jan then enrolled at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she began pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. Love changed everything as she met a young man from Fisher, MN by the name of Steve Williams who was also attending the U. Steve and Jan were united in marriage on July 3, 1971 in New Ulm and made their first home in rural Fisher to begin their lives together. Over the next few years their union would be blessed by the births of daughters, Heather and Melissa. Sadly, Jan’s father, Bernie, passed away in 1975. In 1973 they moved into Fisher, where for several years Jan was employed at Bremer Bank. She later partnered with Mary Tiedemann as they co-owned and managed the Hair Company, a salon in Crookston. During these busy years Jan still found time to succeed Steve in broadcasting the Fisher News on the Voice of the Valley, KROX Radio. Jan also dedicated her time to assist Steve with farm work and his seed business. She was a devoted member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Fisher and served on many of the Church’s committees. In 2011 Jan and Steve moved to their lake home on Maple Lake, near Mentor and Jan began attending the St. Lawrence Catholic Church parish. Her mother, Muriel, had moved to Fisher in the mid-1980’s to be closer to Jan and then to the Summerfield Apartments in Fertile in 2017. Jan always looked forward to visits with her mother and making sure all her needs were met. Her son-in-law, Jim, noted she was famous for her over easy eggs and her early morning call for “Breakfast!”. Only a phone call away, Jan was an avid supporter of whatever path her daughters’ chose. She was a lover of all dogs, especially Boofer, Snoopy, Sugar, Charlie and granddog Maggie. Jan adored flowers, feeding the hummingbirds, and was admired in the neighborhood for her outdoor frog and turtle collection which visiting children would name, count, and remember. She treasured her time with her lake neighbors and their families. Jan was kind, caring and nurturing to everyone fortunate to know her.
Jan is lovingly survived by her husband of 51 years, Steve; their 2 daughters and sons-in-law, Heather and Jim Williams of Winona, MN and Melissa and Jeremy Klein of Lakeville, MN; her aunt, Jean Earl of Waseca, MN; mother-in-law, Irene Williams of Fisher, MN; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Michael Williams of Vienna, VA, Jeff and Karen Williams of Littleton, CO, Sue and Steve Meyer of Fisher, MN, and Jim and Roxanne Williams of Eden Prairie, MN; as well as, nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends. In addition to her parents, Bernard and Muriel Nentl, Jan was preceded in death by her father-in-law, Milton “Mickey” Williams. Treasured be Jan’s memory.
Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Jan Williams will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, October 7, 2022, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, rural Mentor, with The Rev. Larry Delaney, presiding. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service. Burial will take place at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon in the Greenwood Cemetery near Fisher, and that service will be livestreamed also. Memorials may be made in Jan’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Greenwood Cemetery Association in Fisher.