Jeanette Johnsrud of Kalispell passed away on Oct. 1, 2020, at the age of 78.
Jeanette was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. Her father, John Alver Hamberg, emigrated from Sweden to the U.S. via Ellis Island, with plans to settle in Los Angeles. But as he crossed the country, that northern Swede happened upon Ms. Effie Wood in her native state of Kentucky, where they married and raised Jeanette, along with her sister, Mary, and four brothers, George, John, Fred and Ellis.
It was in Kentucky that Jeanette was also fated to meet her very own northern lad, a Norwegian farm boy from North Dakota, Donald Johnsrud, whom she married in 1958. The two Scandinavians spent decades discovering new Swede and Norsky jokes to razz one another, while the rest of us chuckled “Aren’t Swedes and Norwegians basically the same thing?”
Jeanette and Don raised a trio of kind-hearted children, Larry, Steven and Cynthia, and Jeanette passed on her remarkable love and laughter to eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, who knew her as “Nana.” An avid gourmet and whole-hearted laugher, Jeanette’s spirit shone brightest at family gatherings, sharing good food, jokes, card games and stories.
A lover of literature, animals, and an immaculately spotless house, she also found peace and grace in the quieter moments at home. If shopping was in the books, it was usually to stock up on rugs, vacuum cleaners, place mats or other household wares, all the better for Jeanette to embrace the true Swedish “hygge,” (or “cozy”) lifestyle at home.
She intuitively knew before anyone when loved ones around her were struggling or needed extra attention, and her immediate response was always to rally the family with her characteristic mantra: “The best thing we can do is just love and support them.” Those who felt Nana’s intuitive, unconditional love know it was truly the very best.
Jeanette is survived by her husband Donald, children Steven and Cynthia, three siblings, and 15 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In heaven she’s enjoying decadent meals and exuberant laughs with her parents, brothers George and John, and her son Larry.
A small memorial service for close friends and family will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Church at Creston (5447 Montana Hwy. 35, Kalispell).
Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Jeanette and her family.
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