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Schafer, Janell

Janell (Gibson) Schafer peacefully passed away on May 17th, 2024 at her home, surrounded by her loving family, after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born on June 29th, 1954, in Burbank, California, Janell was the cherished daughter of John H. Gibson and Joan (Waldrip) Gibson, both of whom preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her beloved oldest son, Sean Nolting.

Janell is survived by her devoted husband, Stephen Huhta; her brother, John S. Gibson (Sally); her sister, Wendy (Gibson) Bledsoe (Ben); and her children, Ryan Nolting (Amanda), Dana Cody (Steve), Keri Schafer (Jorge), and Connor Schafer. Additionally, she leaves behind five treasured grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graduate of Loogootee High School in Indiana in 1972, Janell went on to attend nursing school in Bloomington, Indiana. Her professional life was marked by her dedication and compassion, working both as a nurse and a police investigator. Most recently, she continued her nursing career in Waupaca, where she was deeply valued.

Janell was known for her hardworking nature and her love for decorating her homes and tending to her yard. She had a special fondness for animals, especially dogs, and leaves behind her cherished fur baby, Le Rush Bo.

Throughout her life, Janell formed wonderful friendships, particularly in Waupaca, where her women’s group, led by Ally Karavakis and including LaDonna Sonntag, Inez Trantow, and Barb Watson, became her close companions. They provided her with much joy, comfort, and delicious meals during her illness.

The family extends heartfelt gratitude to her friends, ThedaCare at Home Hospice, especially nurse Paula, Mother Julie from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and everyone who called, sent cards, and flowers.

Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Janell Schafer felt like they had won a little bit of the lottery of life. Her warmth, kindness, and generosity left an indelible mark on all who crossed her path, making the world a little bit better place just by being in it.

Memorial Visitation will be held at Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on Monday, June 10th, with a Memorial Service to be held on Tuesday, June 11th at 4:00 PM at the Holly Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Janell’s honor to benefit domestic animal welfare in the Waupaca area. Send to Steve Huhta, E1133 Snug Harbor Ln, Waupaca, WI 54981

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