Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Janet Rosalind Gheller

HURLEY, Wis. - Janet Rosalind Gheller, 84, Oma resident, peacefully passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Hurley after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Janet was born on Sept. 7, 1939, in Oma, to Leo M. Saari and Gertrude (nee Ketola) Saari. Janet was the first of four children. She graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley with the class of 1957.

Janet was a talented and aspiring violinist in her youth. As a member of the Gogebic Range Symphonette, she once even performed in a concert with members of the Duluth Symphony Orchestra when they came to town.

Janet met James Frank Gheller on a blind date New Year's Eve 1956. They married on Sept. 30, 1961, at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Bessemer, Michigan, and were happily married for 61 years.

Janet and James lived in Milwaukee, for a brief time before returning to Oma to raise their family. In addition to being a homemaker, Janet worked at Big Powderhorn Mountain, Bessemer, Giovanoni True Value Hardware, Hurley, and was secretary/office manager for Gogebic Auto Company in Ironwood and Bessemer. Janet also worked at the Iron County Health Department and Department of Human Services and for many years as secretary/office manager at the Iron County Forestry Department, where she retired.

Janet is survived by her children, Frank (Keri) Gheller of Minneapolis, Vincent (Aura) Gheller of Greensboro, North Carolina, Kathryn Forslund of Castle Rock, Colorado; grandchildren, Nicholas and Matthew Gheller, Gabriela and Bianca Gheller, and Robert and Jordan Forslund; brother, James Saari, Sr. of Oma; sister, Yvonne Pumala, of Ironwood; brothers-in-law, Battiste "Bunny" Gheller and Richard (Roberta) Gheller of Bessemer; sisters-in-law, Mary Clements of Appleton, and Barbara Gheller of Oshkosh; as well as many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Janet was preceded in death by her loving husband, James; her parents; a son, John Peter, in infancy; a brother, Robert, in infancy; sisters-in-law, Nancy Saari and Patricia Gheller; and brothers-in-law, Bryan Pumala and Joseph Gheller.

Janet was friendly and liked, well-known, and a dedicated and active member of the community. She served many years as clerk of the Town of Oma Board and as president of the Ironwood Area Business and Professional Women organization. She sang in the church choir at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood. Janet also volunteered her time as a 4-H Club leader and at the Historic Ironwood Theatre.

The family would like to extend a very special thank you to nephew, Brian Gheller, and the staff and residents of the Villa Maria Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hurley.

Janet was cremated in accordance with her wishes.

A celebration of life for Janet, a Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, and inurnment of her cremated remains will be held at a later date, at the direction of Lakeside Memorial Chapel, 806 Putnam St., in Wakefield, Michigan.

In lieu of flowers or a gift, please consider a donation in Janet's memory to Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 108 S. Marquette St., Ironwood, MI 49938.

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