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Jane Ann (Hovelson) Johnson

Jane Ann (Hovelson) Johnson

Jane Ann (Hovelson) Johnson, age 73, died of cancer December 3, 2012, at the Touch of Home assisted living facility in Bemidji.

A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at New Salem Lutheran Church in Turtle River at 11am on Thursday, December 27, 2012, with Pastor Karol McCracken officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be made to New Salem Lutheran Church.

Jane was born on June 6, 1939, to Gene and Carmen Hovelson in Lanesboro, Minnesota. She grew up in Preston, Minnesota and graduated from high school there in 1957. Upon graduation she enrolled at the Hamlin University School of Nursing in St. Paul and became a registered nurse in 1960. She and her husband Jay began dating in 1959. He was a student at Stout State College in Menomonie, Wisconsin, only 60 miles away. Jane and Jay were married September 3, 1960 at the Methodist Church in Preston. They moved to Menomonie while Jay finished his degree and Jane began nursing at the Menomonie Clinic. In October 1961, their first son, Chris, was born.

In 1962, the family moved to Columbia Heights, Minnesota. Jay worked in industry and Jane worked nights at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In 1963 they returned to Menomonie where Jay continued his education, and Jane worked at the Red Cedar Clinic. In the spring of that year, they moved to Missoula, Montana where Jane continued her nursing career. In 1964 their second son, Peder, was born. The family lived there until the fall of 1966 when they moved to Dresbach, Minnesota and Jane worked at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. In the fall of 1967, they moved to Bemidji for Jay to teach at Bemidji State College.

In Bemidji, Jane continued nursing at a wide variety of places. She worked at Bemidji Hospital, did pre-school screening for northern area schools and did speech therapy for District 31. For two summers she worked as camp nurse at Camp Thunderbird for Girls on Lake Plantagenet. In 1975, Jane became one of the first nurse practitioners certified in women’s health in Minnesota. With the exception of two years working in ob/gyn at Bemidji North Country Hospital, Jane worked most of her career for Planned Parenthood in Bemidji. She and Jay retired in 1998. However, Jane remained very busy; she became an active member of the Hospital Auxiliary as a volunteer in the gift shop. She and Jay spent two weeks in Honduras on a medical mission in women’s health care. In their retirement, Jane and Jay used their RV to spend time during the winters in Florida and Texas. Jane liked to travel, tour museums, presidential libraries, and national parks. She and Jay also spent time in Europe with friends, including the BSU Choir Tour in 1998, when she was the tour nurse. Jane loved music and was an accomplished pianist, often accompanying performers and occasionally performing on her own and playing in a small band. She gave piano lessons, played for church choirs, and played in the bell choir at First Lutheran Church.

Jane was an avid reader of both music and books since her childhood. A woman of many interests, she enjoyed fly-fishing, basket-weaving, sewing, and cooking and eating. Cross-country skiing and bird watching were also favorite outdoor activities. Jane had many friends because she was cute, smart, talented, hard-working, and fun to be with.

Jane is survived by her husband Jay, sons Chris and Pete of Bemidji, her sister Judy of Salem, Oregon, brother-in-law Jay and his wife Linda of Byron, Minnesota, two nieces and nephews, and her little dog Suzy.

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