Long time Sheboygan resident, Janet Elizabeth Gebhard, age, 84, entered eternal life on Monday October 9, 2023. She was born March 29, 1939, to Walter and Agnes (Bertsche) Miller. Jan grew up on a family farm in Meeme, Wisconsin. She attended Kiel High School and was involved in various activities. After graduating in 1957, Jan moved to Chicago and worked at Encyclopedia Britannica, then attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She met her husband Kenneth while he was on leave from the U.S. Navy. They were united in marriage on August 23, 1958 at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Osman. Jan was employed Park-N-Shop/Pick and Save for nearly 30 years retiring as the customer service manager in 2000. Both Ken and Jan were active in the community, St. Dominic Catholic Church, loved their many dogs, enjoyed traveling and golfing, and were faithful Green Bay Packer fans. Along with their dog Fayver, Ken and Jan were featured on the front page of the Sheboygan Press highlighting the need for people to adopt retired racing Greyhounds and brought awareness to the treatment of racing dogs. Their travels took them all over the country with annual “big trips” exploring the country and numerous camping adventures. They ventured to many places visiting (and helping) their youngest daughter Karrie and her family while they served in the U.S. Army. Their love of the outdoors was evident with their passion for golf. They both were involved in several golf leagues and enjoyed many friendships and memories throughout the years. At retirement, they bought a recreational vehicle (RV) and traveled to warmer climates so they could golf year-round. Unfortunately, this dream was cut short with Ken’s death in 2001. However, after his passing, Jan remained active. She traveled to some of her bucket list places and especially loved her time in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. She also volunteered for a Church mission to Peru and adopted a local Peruvian family. She enjoyed their letters and their stories. These two trips were true highlights that she cherished. Other bucket list highlights included Jan taking an Amtrak train trip to see granddaughter Talia and family in Spokane, WA and a Caribbean cruise with her daughter Kenlyn and friends.
Jan’s contributions to the community and volunteer work were extensive. She was a wonderful example of Christian love. She was most proud of her time with the Saint Dominic/Sheboygan Northside Christian Food Pantry where she served on the Board of Directors and ran the Food Pantry for over 10 years. She was involved in many other ministries including the Fall Festival, assisted with the Finance Committee, counted money, served as Eucharistic Minister during mass and delivered the Eucharist to the local hospitals/nursing homes. Outside the church, Jan volunteered and served many years with the Wisconsin Election Commission as a poll worker, served on the Board of Directors for Birthright of Sheboygan, volunteered with the Weill Center, Maywood, and Bookworm Gardens. Jan’s love for golf was evident as she was a PGA volunteer at all of the major golf tournaments that took place at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straights, including the Ryder Cup! Jan also loved her garden, all her flowers and hummingbirds. She took many pictures of the beautiful flowers around her house. Additionally, she was involved with an investment club.
Jan was a precious and wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (GG) and friend. Surviving Jan are her three daughters and their families: Kenlyn (Mike) Langland, Kristi (Jason) Lawrence both of Sheboygan, and Karrie (Jonathan) Fristoe of San Antonio, Texas. Jan loved her grandchildren, Talia (Brent) Ashton, Tiffany (Jason) Liermann, Tyler Messner, Andrew Fristoe, Andrew (Amy J) Langland, and Ashley Langland. She was a great-grandmother to Kenna, Kylie, Blaine and Blake Ashton, Tinley, Jaxon, and Tessalyn Liermann, and Hadley, Mason, and Grady Langland. Survivors also include three sisters-in-law: Dolores Miller of Sheboygan, Bernie Miller of Hubertus, and Kathleen Tewelis of Greenfield.
For the last eight years, Jan had a very special friend, Ken Knier, who was a companion that was so loving and the two adored each other. He gave her so many reasons to smile and she loved to laugh with him. She had a new appreciation of life after meeting Ken. He was a faithful and loving friend who did his best to visit every day and cared for her deeply. Jan’s daughters are forever grateful to him and for his devotion to their mother.
Jan is preceded in death by her husband Kenneth O. Gebhard; her parents Walter and Agnes (Bertsche) Miller; her siblings, Rita (Al) Adelman, James Miller, Richard (Arlene) Miller, Gene Miller, Walter Miller, Jr.; her parent in-laws Henry and Clara (Schultz) Gebhard; other in-laws Laverne (Walter) Kaiser, Al (Mickey) Gebhard, Ethel (Fred) Schreiber, and John Tewelis. She was also preceded in death by precious black Labrador Max, who brought her great comfort and joy.
A celebration of Jan’s life and a memorial mass will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 2:00 pm at St. Dominic Catholic Church, North 22nd Street and Geele Avenue in Sheboygan. Father Mark Brandl will celebrate the mass. Prior to the mass family and friends may visit the family starting at 12:00 pm. If you are unable to join the family for Jan’s service it will be livestreamed on her obituary page on the funeral home website.
A private entombment of Jan’s remains will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Gardens of Peace Mausoleum where she will join her husband, Ken.
In her last years, Jan was given tremendous care and assistance by a host of people, for which the family is extremely grateful. The family would like to thank the caregivers at Harvest Home; and the nurses and hospice team at Sharon S. Richardson Community Home Hospice, especially Michelle, her nurse, for their care and compassion to Jan.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Jan’s honor to Sheboygan Northside Christian Food Pantry.