Obituary of William Janzen
William Peter Janzen was born on June 13, 1925 to Henry and Sara (Wall) Janzen in Mountain Lake, MN. The fifth of seven children, he grew up on the family farm south of town and graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1943. At the age of 16, his father passed away suddenly, leaving him and his older brother Jake responsible for the farm, which through his hard work and perseverance, prospered. As a young adult, he was baptized upon confession of his faith and joined the E.M.B. church. He met and fell in love with Mary Gross, a teacher at the Christian Day School, and they were wed on July 10, 1953 in her hometown of Onida, South Dakota. They moved to the family farm and happily added to their family with the birth of Bill and Barb. Bill and Willie farmed together until Willie’s retirement in 1990. In 1991, Mary suffered a severe stroke and Willie faithfully cared for her until her death in 1992. Willie traveled frequently after Mary’s death, visiting many places including Costa Rica, Hawaii, Europe and California. On November 1, 1997 he married Adeline Fast in Mountain Lake gaining more children and grandchildren and a faithful and loving companion. They spent many winters in Arizona which they both thoroughly enjoyed.
Throughout his life, Willie served the Bethel Mennonite Church as a trustee and deacon, served as a board member of the Heritage Village, the Federal Land Bank, and Cooperative Oil Association. He enjoyed traveling, wood carving, gardening, family genealogy, and history. He was a great storyteller and took great delight in writing letters to his grandchildren each birthday with stories from when he was their age.
As his health declined, he moved to The Lodge and eventually the Good Samaritan Village. There he received personal, compassionate care by the staff members for which he was truly grateful. He died peacefully with family by his side on Friday, October 20, 2017 at the age of 92 years.
Willie is survived by his wife Adeline of Mt. Lake, children; Bill (Rachel) Janzen of Mt. Lake, Barbara Janzen (Louis Buchholtz) of Chico, CA, step-children; Bonnie (Greg) Nygren of Brainerd, Craig (Janelle) Fast of Becker, Carole (Glen) Roseen of Wyoming, sister Gladys (Harlan) Franz, brother-in-law Jerry (Twila) Harder, grandchildren; Timothy (Laura) Janzen, Sara Janzen, Clara Buchholtz, William Buchholtz, step-grandchildren; Jonathan Nygren, Jeremy Nygren, Cassie Fields, Kristin Roseen, Derek Fast, Missy Fast, and 4 step-great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his first wife, parents, siblings Justina (Einar) Nelson, Jacob (Emma) Janzen, Clara (Owen) Trout, Annette (John) Pauluk and Mildred (David) Balzer.
Memorial gifts may be given to the Mennonite Central Committee.