In Memory of Janet J. Thomas

September 29, 1951 - February 24, 2024

Janet Jane Thomas, a long-time area resident, died peacefully on Feb. 24, 2024, surrounded by her family after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease. She was 72.

Janet was born in Minneapolis on Sept. 29, 1951, to Theodore and Florence (Bellika) Dormanen. Janet grew up in the Twin Cities, one of seven siblings, and graduated from Osseo High School in 1969.

After graduation, Janet got a job at the Hennepin County Government Center doing office work. It was there that she met the love of her life Bruce Thomas, who was working as a lot attendant where she parked her car. They began dating and married on June 26, 1971, and were together for more than 52 years.

They moved to Siren, Bruce’s hometown, shortly after the birth of their first child, Chad, in 1973. Their daughter, Heather, was born four years later. They built a house on Soderberg Road, where they lived for four decades raising and caring for their family. After retirement, they moved into a new place in Lewis next to the houses of their son and daughter.

Janet was an active mother (and grandmother), attending all of her kids many school activities and often volunteering as chaperone for school trips. Later in life, she knit dozens of mittens for school kids in Siren.

Janet first worked in Webster for the zoning administrator and later had a job at a real estate office. She joined Benson & Taylor (later Benson Law Office) in Siren in 1979 as a legal secretary and worked there for 36 years until her retirement in 2015.

Janet was an avid traveler, visiting many states and also going to Europe, Asia and Australia. One of her favorite destinations was Florida, where she went often with her family. She also loved cruising, a passion of hers that she passed on to the rest of her family.

She liked going to movies, concerts and theater shows, and playing games and mini golf. She enjoyed getting together with her friends to play cards and going to the casino. She had a passion for shopping with her box full of coupons and loved finding a deal.

Janet had a real sweet tooth and liked making cinnamon rolls (especially with her granddaughter Rylee), brownies and her signature blueberry dessert. She enjoyed fishing and went on many trips to Canada. She was also a big sports fan, never missing a Vikings football game or Twins baseball game.

Janet is survived by her husband Bruce; children Chadwin Thomas and Heather O’Brien; sons-in-law Robert O’Brien and Georg Jochum; granddaughters Stefani (Jeremy) Erickson, Rachel O’Brien, Bobbi Jo (Brandon) Wipperling and Rylee (Jakob) Eiffert; Siblings Dwight (Tanya) Jaworski, Verna Dormanen, Carol Edberg, Margie (Mark) Vik and Sandra (Seth) Marlett. She is also survived by four great grandchildren, many brothers- and sisters-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents and brother Gene Dormanen, as well as three brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law.

A celebration of Janet’s life officiated by Pastor Steve Ward will take place at the Zhashagiins Event Center in Siren on Saturday, March 30, with a visitation at 10 a.m. and funeral services at 11 a.m. A luncheon will be served afterward. Burial will take place at a later date.

Pallbearers are granddaughters Stefani, Rachel, Bobbi Jo and Rylee, and her close friends Jeanette Laqua and Cathy Hinze.

If you would like to share a favorite photo of Janet for use in her memorial, please send one to the family prior to the service.

Arrangements were entrusted to Rowe Funeral Homes in Frederic.

Last Update: Feb 28, 2024 8:17 am CST

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