Jane Marie (Grunwaldt) Smith, 75, of Bemidji, Minn., died Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at her home, attended by her loving husband.
Jane was born March 3, 1945, in Green Bay, Wis., to Carl and Viola Grunwaldt. She grew up in Black Creek and Seymour, and later moved to Appleton, Wis. Upon graduating high school in Appleton in 1963, she attended Stout State University in Menomonie, Wis., where she received her teaching degree in home economics in 1967.
While doing graduate work at Stout State University she met her future husband, Robert “Bob” Smith. After a year of teaching in the Chicago suburbs, she married Bob at United Methodist Church in Appleton on July 11, 1969.
That same year they moved to Bemidji where Jane first worked in the fabric department at J.C. Penney’s. Later she took a home economics teaching position at Red Lake High School, and then at Blackduck High School, all while helping her husband with his work at Image Photography in Bemidji. Then came their daughters, Heather and Heidi.
Jane was a devoted Christian who traveled to nearly 20 countries in Latin America, Africa and Europe to share the Word of God. Especially important to her were her two trips to Israel. Her dream was to be a missionary to share her love of Jesus around the world, and she was a member of several faith groups.
Through her walk with Christ, she touched many lives locally and internationally. She was a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Bemidji. She was an instigator in establishing the Servants of Shelter in an effort to house the homeless. She loved everyone she ever met and wanted them to know about Jesus.
An active member of the Bemidji Quilters Guild and various Bible studies, she won blue ribbons at the Beltrami County Fair for her work. Her fabric art was displayed at the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and exhibited in an international art show in Finland. She was a skilled quilter who loved teaching the craft of quilting to others, especially young women.
Jane is survived by her husband Bob; her two children, Heather (John) Kilde and Heidi (Gabriel Farfan Mares) Smith; four grandchildren, David, Leah and Thora Kilde and Mathias Farfan Smith; and brother, Joel (and Noel) Grunwald and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Viola; siblings, David and Mark; and niece Christine.
A family memorial service for Jane was held on Saturday, Oct. 10. Gifts can be made in her memory to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf or the organization of your choice. Please sign the guestbook at www.OlsonSchwartzFuneralHome.com
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