Verdigre – Janet Marie Pavelka, 85, of Verdigre, died Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 at Alpine Village in Verdigre.
Visitation was held Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Verdigre.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 at the church in Verdigre. Fr. Jeremy Hans officiated.
Burial was in the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery in Verdigre.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Brockhaus Funeral Home in Verdigre was in charge of the arrangements.
Janet, daughter of Ben and Wilma (Prokop) Vonasek, was born Feb. 4, 1937, in Verdigre. She grew up west of Verdigre and attended Verdigre High School, where she was active in several extracurricular activities. Janet was a cheerleader, played clarinet in the band, was the school pianist and was the editor of the school paper. She loved school, but said that her biggest challenge was walking two miles to catch a ride on the school bus, especially when she had to cross a pasture with some very mean mules.
After graduating in 1954, Janet attended Wayne State College where she earned her teaching certificate. She taught at the Star Country School for two years, and during that time Janet met a young man who loved to dance, and just like that, the direction of her life took an exciting turn.
She married the love of her life Alvin Pavelka on June 26, 1956. They had seven children David, Patricia (who was stillborn), Emy, James, Kay, John and Patrick.
Janet and Alvin raised their family and worked on the farm for 45 years. This is the place where she claimed to have been the happiest. She worked alongside Alvin in everything he did. Her life on the farm made her heart full, from gardening to milking the cows. She canned almost everything you can imagine. You would always hear her singing as she watered the garden, fed the cats, hung the clothes, picked cucumbers or bustled around the kitchen preparing one of her famous meals with potato dumplings. Janet was so creative and could spontaneously make up a song about one of her children or grandchildren, with such a catchy tune that it can be remembered to this day. She was a wonderful piano player, giving lessons to her grandchildren and passing her love of music on to them.
Alvin and Janet rarely missed an event that included their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were so proud and could describe their best plays of the game in detail and sometimes would even give constructive criticism. If there was a dance in town, and no family events, you would find them at a polka dance where they would dance all night. When they could dance no more, they would be holding hands while listening to the Big Joe Polka Show on TV.
Janet loved life and people, spoiled any company that would show up and was always looking to meet new friends. She got along with absolutely everyone and found good in anyone. Janet's father once told her to “treat everyone with honor.” She took that to heart throughout her whole life. Janet was always thinking about others and how she could make someone happier, safer, feel more loved or even more confident. Anyone that walked away from a conversation with her held their head a bit higher or wore a brighter smile.
Janet was a lady of great strength and would trust in her strong faith to get her through the most difficult times in her life. Even when it was cold and difficult to get to church, it was so important to her. Her niece once said that she was the most Christian woman she had ever known, always putting others first and taking care of everyone else.
Janet is survived by her five children David (Terri) Pavelka, Emy (Gary) Jones, James Pavelka, John Pavelka and Pat (Stacy) Pavelka; nine grandchildren Robyn (Greg) Frank, Adam (Alison) Pavelka, Amber (Joel) Hurst, Heather (Shawn) Pearson, Michael Jones, Garrett (Lizzy) Jones, Jesse (Elizabeth) Rudloff, Samantha (Dale) Fanning and Elizabeth Pavelka; 20 great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Alvin, two daughters Kay (Roger) Rudloff and Patricia, one brother David Vonasek, one sister Ruth (Dennis) Farnik and numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
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