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On Friday, August 30, Janell Karlene (Schafer) Peterson passed to her eternal rest, after a 3 ½ year-long battle with cancer.
Janell was born in 1953 to Ed and Lois Schafer of Calvin, ND. She grew up on a farm and embodied the virtues of a North Dakota farm girl: generous, hard-working, self-sacrificing. Her family was her greatest delight. After her high school graduation Janell attended community college in Devils Lake and later completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology at the University of North Dakota. She met her husband William (Bill) in her first job out of college; they were married on Bill’s birthday in 1979. The couple moved to Center, ND in 1981. For 16 years, Janell commuted to the Falkirk coal mine near Washburn, where she was a miner and operator, putting her heavy machinery skills acquired on the farm to good use. In 1998 Janell left Falkirk to begin her second career as City Director in the town of Center. This change allowed her to dedicate her time to her two children, Marnee and Mitch, whom she loved and supported through thick and thin!
Janell also poured herself out in many ways in her community, serving as an EMT on the Falkirk Mine ambulance and rescue squads and the Oliver County Ambulance squad. She was a certified CPR and First Aid instructor and taught classes to many different groups, including first responders, daycare providers, and the sophomore class at Center High School which she taught annually. She helped organize a blood drive in Center three times each year. Janell was the recipient of the prestigious EMS Association’s Star of Life Award.
Janell was a very competitive person and fueled her competitiveness with racquetball, trapshooting, softball, cards, and even “Words with Friends”. Janell won many trapshooting events including multiple ND State Women’s Singles Championships; and with her Center Haag Trucking softball team, she won a Divisional McQuades Championship and she also won a State Master’s (Over 35) Championship. She was an avid hunter and fisherman and bagged both the once-in-a-lifetime ND moose and elk trophies. She loved athletics and kept book and scoreboard for the high school basketball and volleyball teams.
With Janell it was always family first. After her own children, the greatest beneficiaries of her goodness were her siblings and many nieces and nephews. She loved to watch their sporting events, loved to hunt with them, and loved to cook for them (the more the merrier!). She also loved to make quilts and she loved to travel. Her love for others and her strong Christian faith marked her whole life to the very end.
Janell is survived by her husband Bill, her two children Sister Star of Evangelization (Marnee) and Mitch Peterson, her brothers Barry (Nancy) Schafer and Brett (Janet) Schafer, her sisters Darci (Brian) Wold and Dara (Kevin) Langerud, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Ed and Lois and her brother John Schafer.
Memorial services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Center at 2 PM on Wednesday, September 4. A luncheon will follow at the Civic Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Oliver County Ambulance of Center, ND.