Jan Wilson died peacefully on Sunday, July 12th, holding Bob's hand, her devoted husband of 64 years. She had been in a care facility since 2014, struggling with Alzheimer's. Bob was with her every day of those six years caring for her until last March when the current circumstances made it impossible for them to be together. We are so thankful he could be with her again on that day and evening before she said goodbye.
Jan was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on December 3rd, 1932, to Fredrick and Beatrice Johnson. She graduated from Eau Claire HS in 1949 and went on to St Barnabas Nursing School in St. Paul to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. She and Bob met at a dance hosted by Macalester College. They fell in love and were married in Eau Claire on September 1st, 1955. Bob was serving in the army, stationed in Colorado Springs, where Leslie, their first child, was born.
In 1958 they moved to Bemidji to join the family business, Wilson's Clothing, founded in 1920. Two additional children, Bobby and Mary, were born to complete the family. Jan dedicated her time to raising her children and later became more involved with Wilson's after the kids had left. She had a natural talent as a buyer for the store and was an exceptional salesperson. She and Bob were the perfect team, and Wilson's thrived under their hard work and dedication.
Jan had a great sense of humor and was the classic hostess, loving to entertain. She knew how to throw a party! Many of which were legendary.
Jan loved the outdoors, skiing in the winter, and playing tennis and golf in the summer. In retirement, Bob and Jan were fortunate to live in Arizona during the winter months, always welcoming family and friends to visit.
When grandchildren became part of the picture, she embraced them with everything she had. Four great-grandchildren later came, all so special to her, even with her fading memory.
Jan lived a beautiful life, full of friendships, family, and the love of her life, Bob. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Jan is survived by her husband, Bob; children: Leslie (Jerry) Downs, Bob (Colleen) Wilson, Mary (Bruce) Tinker; grandchildren: Ryan (Jena) Downs, Betsy (Rich) Gorski, Martha Tinker; and great-grandchildren: Regan, Grady, Riley Downs, and Bohdan Gorski.
Due to the current circumstances, a private family service will take place at a later date.
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