Janet M. Genz
IXONIA -- Janet M. Genz, 78, of Ixonia, passed away at home on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.
A funeral service will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Ixonia with the Rev. Joel Free officiating. Family and friends may gather at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service. An additional visitation will be held at Hafemeister Funeral Home on Thursday from 4 until 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Janet Genz may be given to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or School in Ixonia, Lakeside Lutheran High School, Shoreland Lutheran High School or a charity of one’s choice.
Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Watertown is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com.
Janet was born on Jan. 13, 1940, to Hilbert and Mabel (Weege) Rupnow, and raised on the Rupnow family farm. She was baptized at her family’s home on Jan. 27, 1940, by Pastor Hillemann. She attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School and was confirmed on April 11, 1954, by Pastor Pagels. In her teen years, she was a member of the church choir. Growing up, Janet helped out with chores such as gathering and washing the eggs, cultivating the fields and raking hay. Janet graduated from Watertown High School in 1958.
During her later high school years, Janet helped her mother and the Ixonia Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary, occasionally assisting in waiting tables for weddings and events at the firemen’s hall. It was there that she met Joyce Genz (Engelbrecht), who would later become her best friend. The pair went to dances and picnics together. Together, they even teamed up for a year or two, to compete in the two-person women’s water-fights at the firemen’s picnic. Janet would spray into the opposing team’s face while Joyce defended their flank from the opposite side. It was said that their competitors feared fighting them! In September of 1958, at the marriage of Joyce’s cousin, Armin Genz to Evelyn Drost, she met the love of her life, Fred Genz. They married on Oct. 18, 1959.
After their wedding, Fred and Janet lived briefly in a second-floor apartment on Ninth Street in Watertown. Shortly thereafter, they rented half of the Rupnow, two-family home in Ixonia. In 1971, they purchased their home in Ixonia.
Janet began her working life at Brandt’s in the front office. While raising her family, Janet worked part-time at a variety of places. She waited tables at Chauncey’s Supper Club in Pipersville and Western Aire in Oconomowoc. Janet was also a volunteer playground monitor at Ixonia Elementary School and later drove school bus in the Ixonia area for Dousman Transport. She worked retail at Kline’s Tot ‘n’ Teen and at Farm and Fleet in Watertown. Janet also made sandwiches with the ladies at All City Vending, analyzed samples at Rock River Labs and did home cleaning for the elderly for Marquardt Memorial Manor. To complete her working career, Janet retired from the Dodge County Human Services Health Department as manager for the meal site location in Watertown at Mueller Apartments. After retiring, she volunteered at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with the altar guild and the school hot lunch program.
Janet played women’s softball for Dan & Lea’s Motel. She was a member of the ladies’ dartball team for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Ixonia. She also enjoyed getting together to play cards (especially sheepshead), bowling and polka dances. Janet loved using her God-given artistic and creative abilities in the domestic arts of cooking, canning, sewing, drawing, crafts and needlepoint. She was also known for her cake decorating skills, having done many confirmation, graduation and wedding cakes for family and friends over the years. Although Janet was an excellent cook, it was unfortunate that her family of admittedly finicky-eaters didn’t fully appreciate her talents. It was her labor of love to successfully make meals that the whole family would enjoy. Being from, and marrying into, large, close-knit families, Janet would arrive at almost every birthday, anniversary or holiday with something delicious in hand.
Janet and Fred often enjoyed going out Friday nights for fish fries. She spent her free time working on crossword puzzles and watching crime investigation and forensic shows on TV, as well as old reruns of “Murder She Wrote,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Andy Griffith,” “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Carol Burnett.”
She loved to travel. Janet enjoyed going “up north,” including a couple of times visiting her sister Vonnie at her resort in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. She was especially excited to get her passport and accompany the “Schnitzeltour” groups, traveling to Europe twice. She was also able to visit her ancestral homeland in Pomerania, Germany, and enjoy the beauty and foods of Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
Her most favorite thing to do was being able to watch her children’s and grandchildren’s school and sporting events. Sometimes she would travel for miles or over the weekend to watch a tourney involving one of them.
Through all of her life, Janet remained a faithful child of God. She regularly attended church services and Bible classes. When she was no longer able to attend church, she was sure to hear the recorded services from her home. She made it a point to raise her family in a Christian home and to instill her children in the knowledge, that by God’s mercy through his Son Jesus, we will all meet with her again in heaven.
Janet is survived by her husband of 58 years, Fred; three sons, Steve Genz, Gary (Joan) Genz and Stacy (Danielle) Genz, all of Ixonia; daughter, Bridget (Scott) Miller of Burlington; five grandchildren, Brooke (David) Erikson, Tierney (Tim) Demuth, Katelyn (Ryan) Broedlow, Jordan Genz, Cooper Genz; siblings, Alida Jaeger, Roger (Helen) Rupnow, LaVonne Reinke, Dean (Julie) Rupnow; in-laws, Jean Rupnow, Armin Genz, Arletta Lauersdorf, Irma Schwartz, Gordon and Alice Genz, Doris Ruckdaschel, Don and Lucy Kuehl, Ward and Karen Genz, Dorothy Genz, Martin and Chris Genz, John and Vickie Genz and Neal Genz. She is further survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Lawrence and Orville Rupnow; nephew, David Rupnow; brothers-in-law, Carl Jaeger, Karl Reinke, Elmer Lauersdorf, Eugene Genz, Donnie Kurtz, Robert Genz, Rocky Ruckdaschel, Richard Schwartz; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Rupnow, Isabelle Kurtz, Evelyn Genz; and best friend, Joyce Engelbrecht.
The family would like to thank the Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, Waukesha Memorial Hospital and Aurora Hospital doctors, nurses and staff for their care in treating Janet during her struggles with illnesses over the past few years. They also especially thank Aurora Hospice’s staff, nurses and aides for helping us make the last few days of Mom’s life as comfortable as possible.
Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service
611 E. Main St. Watertown