Janice “Jan” M. (Hansen) Schmitt
Janice “Jan” Mae (Hansen) Schmitt died peacefully on July 19, 2020, after having suffered an intracranial hemorrhage. She passed listening to what she loved best…expressions of love from her children, and a live recording of the Grateful Dead. Above all things, Jan was a fierce and loving mother. She was also a savvy and successful businesswoman, an adventurous world traveler, a lover of good music, marijuana, and her many chihuahuas, and proudly had the legs of a 20-year-old until the very end. She was an ardent supporter of causes that affected the lives of those she loved: gay rights (for her son), Black Lives Matter (for her grandchildren; she had just attended her first protest march) and the rights and protections of soldiers (for her great-nephew, Matthew). She was also a devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Jan was born March 15, 1956, the youngest child of Harold and Genevieve (Beardsley) Hansen. Upon graduating from Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School in 1974, she married her only husband, Richard Schmitt, in La Crosse. After a brief relocation to San Diego, CA., they returned to La Crosse to give birth to their daughter, Erin. After again relocating to Milwaukee, they gave birth to their son, Christopher. Having worked briefly at the Yum Yum Tree in La Crosse, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee, she found her true calling by starting her own daycare in her home (J & J Daycare, later ABC Daycare), which she developed into a chain of daycares in the Milwaukee area. With the success of her business, she sold her house to live on a boat on the Mississippi River for a year, eventually settling in Indian Rocks Beach, FL. She had recently moved back to Milwaukee to be closer to family.
Jan is survived by her son, Christopher, of Boston; daughter, Erin, of Milwaukee, and her four children: Kyle, Sasami, Jaaron and Asana; her brother, Bud, of Galesville; and many nieces, nephews and their children, including: Stephanie, Ryane, Colleen, Sean, Denver, Dallas, Bobby, Matthew, and Jessica; her former husband, Richard, of Milwaukee, with whom she remained close friends; and many other relatives and friends, including her beloved chihuahuas, Al and Mazi.
A small graveside burial for close family will take place on August 8, at the Trempealeau Public Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held in Milwaukee when the pandemic has passed.