Jeanette "Jan" Lorraine Navratil, 78, of Pine Island, passed from this life Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.
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She was born July 1, 1935, on a farm south of Albert Lea, to Jens and Luvina (nee Walswik) Thorson. Jan was the youngest of three children. She attended rural school until the family moved to a larger farm near Hayward, east of Albert Lea, and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1953. Jan attended Mankato State College to become a school teacher and received her bachelor's degree in elementary education. Between her sophomore and junior years, she accepted a job offer in Alexandria to work at a resort on Lake Geneva at Brown's Geneva Beach. She did not like the work, but she met a young man, Richard "Dick" Navratil, who also worked there and became good friends. The friendship turned into love and they were married July 5, 1958, in Hayward. After graduating from college, Jan began her teaching career in Blooming Prairie where they rented a small apartment. Dick worked at IBM in Rochester and commuted daily. During this time, they looked for a place closer to Rochester and started planning to build a house. They found a lot in Pine Island that they could afford and started building in November 1959, finishing the house the following spring. Jeanette then taught at Pine Island School full-time for two years and continued as a substitute teacher for another eight years. Dick had started a small tool and die shop during their time in Pine Island so Jan helped in the shop too. She could run the machine and deliver parts when done so she was very versatile. While all this was going on she, raised three children in her spare time!
Jan enjoyed all sorts of crafts, especially when she could help. She was very good at figuring things out and motivating Dick when needed. She helped the grandchildren with their school project involving crafts and was a patient teacher. She was a very gentle person who rarely got riled up over anything. Jan will be missed by all who knew her. Her memory will go on forever, or at least as long as Dick lives. She will be having a good conversation with her good friends, Sue and Charlotte as well as with her parents and sister. We look forward to seeing her again.
Jan is survived by her loving husband of 55 years, Dick of Pine Island; son, Jon (Karen) Navratil of Annandale; daughters, Julie (fiance, Britt Bjugan) Jobes of Zumbrota and Mary (Patrick) Pike of Pine Island; 16 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister, Jennie Egaas of Seattle, Wash.; brother, Ted (Janet) Thorson of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.
Jan was preceded in death by her sister, Eleanor Werness.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Island, with the Rev. John Torris Lohre and the Rev. Kip Groettum officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials are preferred to the Saint Paul Lutheran Church. mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com
Mahn Family Funeral Homes Inc/Larson Chapel
1475 Jefferson Dr Zumbrota, MN 55992
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Jan. 20, 2014