Janice A. (Stylen) Lee of Coon Valley, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 26, 2019 with family by her side at Vernon Manor in Viroqua. Janice – wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, educator and friend – lived 87 meaningful years.
Janice was born on July 27, 1932 in La Crosse, to Edwin and Josephine (Knutson) Stylen of Hunder Coulee. She joined three older sisters, Ardelle, Palma, and Elsie. Two years later, her younger brother, Clayton “Jimmy” was born. Janice was baptized and confirmed at Lower Coon Valley Church. She married Burton Lee on August 28, 1954 at Upper Coon Valley Lutheran Church. They celebrated their 65th anniversary this past August.
Janice graduated from La Crosse Central in 1950. She completed the two year Normal School and her Bachelor’s Degree from UW La Crosse. In 1964, she earned her Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from the Univ. of Michigan.
Janice, Burt and their 3 children, Jim, Toby and Jody lived in several places over the years, including McFarland, Fall River, Columbus, Baldwin, Sparta, and Beloit, Wisconsin, as well as Ann Arbor, Michigan, before finally settling back in their home area of Coon Valley.
Janice was an exceptional and respected teacher at both the elementary and middle school levels. Later, she became a Reading Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator, followed by Principal for Westby Elementary School, until her retirement in 1990. After retirement, Janice worked for UW La Crosse as a supervisor of student teachers for ten years.
Besides being an extremely hard worker throughout her career, Janice devoted enormous amounts of time to her church, the advancement of literacy, and her family. She was a devoted member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church, WELCA and the Ruth Circle. She was an original founder of the Coulee Region Literacy Council, and she spent countless hours tutoring adults, as well as training tutors. In 2016, Janice was named state of Wisconsin “Literacy Advocate of the Year” and was recognized during a reception at Monona Terrace in Madison.
Janice especially enjoyed spending time with her six grandchildren and more recently her eight great grandchildren. There was nothing better than holding those little babies. Janice was also a talented gardener, an avid reader (even after her stroke), and a good cook. She looked forward to Christmas each year, when the whole family would gather at the farm for a delicious Norwegian supper with lots of cookies for dessert. When the presents were being set out, Grandma would gather with the little ones in the basement to tell stories and sing songs. Then came the Christmas Bible reading, followed by lots of presents.
Janice is survived by her husband, Burt; her children, Jim (Karen) Lee, Toby (Joan) Lee, and Jody (Greg) Lampe; her grandchildren, Robin (Danielle) Lee, Thea (Zach) Trebelhorn, Jessamyn (Garrett) Lee-Jones, Tessa (Andy) Martin, Josephine (Brandon Winneshiek) Lee, and John Lee (Karen Dohr); and her great grandchildren, Phoebe and Levon Jones, William and Charlie Martin, Penelope and Marian Winneshiek, and Madison and Harper Trebelhorn. She is further survived by her oldest sister, Ardelle Umberger, many special nieces, nephews and relatives, and many wonderful friends.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Polly Tollerud and Elsie Nelson, brother, Jim Stylen, brothers-in law, Raymond Umberger, Robert Nelson, and Woodrow Tollerud, sister-in-law, Rachel Stylen, and nephew, Dick Brendum.
Janice Lee was the heart of her family and loved by many. If you knew her, she probably grew to hold a special place in your own heart. The family would like to say a special thank you to all who visited, communicated and held Janice in their thoughts and prayers over the past several years. Thank you also to Dr. Dolan, Dr. Domroese, and their nursing staff for their ongoing care. Thank you to the staff and nurses at Vernon Manor for their compassion and support.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 30 at 11:00 a.m. at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. Rev. Julie Wollman will officiate with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, October 29 from 4 - 7 p.m. at Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley and at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until service time. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the Coon Valley Lutheran Church, especially WELCA, or a literacy organization of your choice.
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