Janet Harwood, 79, passed away on Friday, April 4th, 2014 in the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Lovingly known by family as a wonderful cook and talented seamstress, Janet was born to the late Arthur John Burmeister and Isabel (Scott) Burmeister on June 7th, 1935 in Wilmette, Illinois. Janet majored in nursing at Northwestern University, where she met and married her college sweetheart, John Charles Harwood from Neenah, Wisconsin. John will be Janet’s soul mate as he passed away on September 23rd, 2012, after celebrating 57 magical years of marriage together.
Commemorating Janet’s full life as a wife, mother, sister, grandma, and great grandma are three children, Ken (Kathleen) Harwood, Pam (Bill Tabberson) Harwood, Scott Harwood; seven grandchildren: Christopher (Eileen) Harwood, Megan (Ryan) Ehlert, Naomi Harwood Tabberson, Coly John Harwood Tabberson, Rachel (Nick) Schmitt, Christa Bartz, Alisha (Nick) Burkhalter; three great grandchildren, Jackson Harwood, Eleanor Harwood, Alex Schmitt; sister, JoAnne Shriefer; and three nieces and two nephews. Her parents, husband, sister Karen Lesinski, and infant son Michael preceded Janet in death.
Janet fully enjoyed life, raising a family in LaGrange, IL, Marshalltown, IA, Waupaca, WI, Birmingham, MI, Kendallville, IN and Hazelhurst, WI. She loved all of the arts and spent time painting, crafting, cooking, and sewing, making everything from prom dresses to signature polo shirts. Janet’s culinary gifts were a pleasure to savor, especially her cranberry chutney and oriental salad. Always a sports enthusiast, whether cheering for her children’s activities in track, volleyball, or speed skating, or participating herself in curling and golf, Janet embraced family, gathering strength from those around her. While living in Waupaca, Janet, her family, and her two sisters and their families spent many memorable moments at a cottage on the Dake Lake in Chain of Lakes. Traveling was a passion for the Harwood’s and Janet was the caretaker in their journeys across the United States. Magical memories were made, often with brother-in-law Richard Harwood, his wife Joey and their family. Janet retired from the ‘workaday’ world with her husband John and moved to Hazelhurst, Wisconsin in June of 1991. As empty-nesters, they continued to travel to small town festivals as well as taking an Alaskan Cruise and following a polka band through Germany and Austria. Janet had a full life and is thankful for those around her that have helped her to live, work, raise a family, and become engaged in communities.
Alzheimer’s challenged Janet’s last decade of life, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to bestow upon her the same nurturing care she so graciously showed others throughout her life. We are also thankful for the wonderful care of K Care in Lac Du Flambeau.
The Commemorative Service for Janet Harwood will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Minocqua’s Bolger Funeral Home with Pastor Mark Gilbert officiating. Friends will be received at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. until the hour of service. Interment will be in Neenah’s Oak Hill Cemetery on Monday, April 16, at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the memorial Alzheimer’s Foundation. Visit www.bolgerfuneral.com to share condolences or memories.