Obituary for Janet Gutzmann

Janet Gutzmann, age 87 of Northfield, passed away with family by her side, on Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, at the care center of the Northfield Retirement Community. Janet Lee Peterson Gutzmann was born January 21, 1933, in Melrose, Massachusetts, to Carl R. and Ethel (Ballhorn) Peterson. She was baptized on Easter Sunday in Melrose. Her mother passed away when Janet was 4, and her father married Gladys Blasingster, whom Janet happily called “Mom.” Janet’s Christian faith was nurtured from an early age by her parents and it was the foundation of her life. Janet moved with her family to […]

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Janet Gutzmann, age 87 of Northfield, passed away with family by her side, on Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, at the care center of the Northfield Retirement Community.

Janet Lee Peterson Gutzmann was born January 21, 1933, in Melrose, Massachusetts, to Carl R. and Ethel (Ballhorn) Peterson. She was baptized on Easter Sunday in Melrose. Her mother passed away when Janet was 4, and her father married Gladys Blasingster, whom Janet happily called “Mom.” Janet’s Christian faith was nurtured from an early age by her parents and it was the foundation of her life. Janet moved with her family to St. Paul where she was confirmed at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. She graduated from Humboldt High School in 1951 and worked as a sales clerk.

Janet married George Gutzmann on December 26, 1951, at Holy Trinity, and they made their home in Norfolk, Virginia, while George served in the US Navy. Following his honorable discharge, they returned to St. Paul and Janet worked as a receptionist while George attended college. They moved briefly to Slayton and Rapid City before returning to St. Paul so George could attend Luther Seminary. During that time, Janet worked for St. Anthony Park Bank. After George’s ordination, George served as pastor at 5 churches during the course of his ministry and Janet partnered with him in various capacities such as leading children’s ministries and bible studies. While they were in Loganville, Wisconsin, Janet attended the University of Wisconsin.

After retirement, the couple settled in Northfield. Janet worked at the Paper Petalum in downtown Northfield for five years. She was a longtime member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Janet was artistically inclined and enjoyed writing poetry, painting and arranging decorative displays. She had a heart to reach out to welcome those who were cast aside.

Survivors include her children David (Lynn) of Fossil, Oregon, Dawna of Chicago, Jon (Lori) of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Mary (Jeff) Freiermuth of Northfield, Linda Schlieckau of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Duane Peterson of Faribault; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband George in 1995, her grandson Andrew Gutzmann, her son-in-law Tom Schlieckau, her brothers Gerald & Thomas Peterson and her parents.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at a later date. Interment will take place in Riverview Cemetery, West St. Paul. Pallbearers will be Jon Gutzmann, Dawna Gutzmann, Mary Freiermuth, Duane Peterson, Linda Schlieckau and Summer Schlieckau.

Memorials are preferred to Lutheran World Relief and Doctors Without Borders.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

You may watch Janet’s funeral service by going to the top of the home page and clicking on “Live Services”

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18 Comments

  1. Marilyn Finneseth

    May she rest in God’s care. A caring and special woman, loved by many. An example to follow, always a cheerful smile in spite of her health problems. She will be missed.

    Reply
    • Mary Freiermuth

      Thanks for your comment on my mom. She loved the Lord. I’m sure is smiling down on us all.

      Reply
  2. Kristin J Harner

    May she rest in peace. She always had a welcoming smile and a sincere desire to connect with those she met. Our kids valued how she made them feel like an important part of God’s family. What a great example for all of us.

    We are sorry for your loss. She will be missed.

    Kristin, Steve, Keith and Sam Harner

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with my mom. It means a lot.

      Reply
  3. Clare Roos

    Sorry to hear of Jan’s passing. She was a shining example of God’s pure and unconditional love. Heaven has a lovely angel singing hymns of glory! Much love to her beloved extended family! Peace and comfort, Clare and Don Roos

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      What a lovely scene to imagine. Thank you for your condolences.

      Reply
  4. Lora Dadam

    I have such found memories of you mother and the time I spent with your family as she served at St Peters Lutheran church in Loganville! May God give your family peace during this difficult time.

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      We are feeling God’s peace and comfort at this time knowing that she has gone home and is no longer in distress. Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Danny Urban

    Mary and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace….

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      Thanks for your concern.

      Reply
  6. Pam Horstman Speich

    Mary, Duane and the rest of the family, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      Thank you. We appreciate your support.

      Reply
  7. Mary Bleckwehl

    Mary, Chelsea and ? Is it Rayna?(sorry her name escapes me right now)
    I was sad to hear this. My deepest sympathies. She was our daughter’s confirmation mentor and really, everyone’s mentor, as her light-hearted nature, beautiful smile (and clothes!) and unwavering faith were so inspirational to our St Peters family.

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      Thank you for sharing your memories of our mom. Her participation as a member of St. Peter’s was an important part of her life.

      Reply
  8. Sylvia Knutson

    Jan was such a wonderful person. I am sad to hear of her passing.She was a dear friend to my mother. She loved all the many gatherings with Jan and the other St.Peter’s friends.i have such sweet memories of being included in those get togethers with those great women,most who are gone now.My condolences to your family. How lucky,indeed you were to have her for a mother and grandmother.

    Reply
  9. Dawna Gutzmann

    Thanks much for sharing your memories and expressing your support.

    Reply
  10. Janie Anderson

    Mary & Dawna–your Mom was a special friend to me. We worked together on many occasions in church. She was a great inspiration to me. Her faith was always first and foremost her gift to everyone who knew her. She was a great Mom to her family . Her prayers were answered when our Lord & Savior took her home. Ive enjoyed seeing her often since last June when I moved to Parkview. I am so grateful for that. You all have wonderful memories to share of her. Keep them alive in her honor. God bless you all.

    Reply
    • Dawna Gutzmann

      Janie- Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sympathy. She enjoyed getting to know you and spending time with you as well. I hope that you are well. God bless you and your family.

      Reply

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