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Janet Marie (Goulet) Wilson

Janet Marie (Goulet) Wilson

Janet Marie Goulet was born on July 16, 1930, in Warroad, near Angle Inlet, Minnesota, the eldest of four children born to Laura Colson Goulet and Adelard Goulet . The Goulet family lived in Angle Inlet until 1943 and Janet attended school in a one room school house through the eighth grade. In 1943 the family moved to Warroad, Minnesota and later to Bemidji, Minnesota. Janet graduated from Bemidji High School in 1947 and received her Associates Degree in Elementary Education from Bemidji State College in 1949.

Janet began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher at the Crow Reservation in Hardin, Montana in 1949 and later received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Bemidji State College. She taught elementary school in Idaho and California until 1966, when she joined the Teachers Corps as a team leader. She was stationed in Philadelphia Pennsylvania at Temple University and worked in North Philadelphia until 1968, when she joined the staff of Temple University as a supervisor of interns and teachers.

On May 9, 1970, Janet married Jim Wilson. Jim and Janet lived in Philadelphia, as members of Temple Universitys Department of Urban Education, and worked together with teachers in the Philadelphia public schools assisting them in the use of media for self-evaluation as a means to improve urban education. Janet received her Master of Science Degree in Education in 1972 and Doctorate in Elementary Education in 1978 from Temple University.

In 1978 Janet moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin as coordinator of Native American Studies and later an assistant professor on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She also completed post-doctoral studies with a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Commission, to explore why Native American students were successful in college and graduate school. In 1980 Jim and Janet began to work together in 12 step recovery programs, work which they have continued to the present. From 1986 until 1992 Janet worked with prisoners in the Green Bay Correctional Facility teaching classes in human relations. She retired in 1992.

Janet and Jim first came to Washington Island on vacation in 1979, after frequent visits to the Island, they purchased their home in 1991 and became permanent Island residents in 1997. Janet was a founding member of one of the book groups on the island, as well as Seekers, a group for women wishing to explore significant life issues. Janet often led the group. In October, 2013, she provided leadership for a four session series on death and dying. In addition Janet has conducted many workshops on a variety of topics including writing, womens spirituality, and Turn off the Christmas Machine. She has continued to lead 12 step recovery groups. She was a strong supporter of the Red Barn Programs and Music in the Schools. Janet was long time member of the United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jim and Janet have attended Trinity Lutheran Church since coming to the Island.

Janet is the author of eleven books including both fiction and nonfiction. Her last book, published in 2013, entitled Serenity in Nature is a book of her poetry and her colored pencil sketches of birds.

After a prolonged struggle with advanced Parkinsons disease, anemia, sepsis, and other blood disorders Janet requested to return to the Island where she could live with dignity until her death. Jim drove her back to the Island on June 10th where he cared for her assisted by the wonderful staff of Unity Hospice, as well as a dedicated team of Island caregivers.

Janet died peacefully on the evening of June 13th with Jim at her side and the island sun setting over the lake she loved. She is survived by Jim, her bother Roger, her sister Pat and 13 nieces and nephews. Her parents Laura and Adelard and her brother Tom preceded her in death. A memorial service to celebrate Janets life is scheduled at Trinity Lutheran Church on Wednesday, July 16th at 11:00 A.M.