Van Handel, Janet E.
Janet E. Van Handel, of Neenah, age 71, passed on to her eternal reward on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at Theda Clark Medical Center, after a long series of illnesses. She was born November 23, 1942 in Milwaukee, daughter of the late Stanley and Anne (Weber) Kotarski.
Janet married Gerald "Gerry" Van Handel on November 27, 1965. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in social work and was a Milwaukee County social worker for several years. Janet then taught grade school in the Milwaukee area and later became a substitute teacher (much to her children's chagrin) at St. Gabriel and other area Catholic Schools. She started as an Activities Coordinator at the Menasha Senior Center, eventually becoming Director, until her retirement for health reasons in 1995.
Janet had an unfailing love of her husband, children and grandchildren. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Janet was affectionately known as Grandma Coo Coo to her grandchildren. She was a serial hugger, not only with family, but also with friends and those soon to become friends.
Janet was a consummate organizer and note maker - she meticulously documented all aspects of her and her family's lives - kept track of everyone's birthdays and anniversaries, and never failed to send cards until the very end of her life. Her grandchildren couldn't wait to open her holiday gift packages or see what was in 'the brown box' each time she visited.
Janet loved to decorate her house and prepare for parties and family gatherings. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her, especially her husband, Gerry; two sons: Michael (Kelly) Van Handel, Green Bay, Jonathan "Jay" Van Handel, Menasha; four grandchildren: Benjamin, Patrick, Eleanor and Eloise, all of Green Bay; a sister, Margaret (Michael) Felber, Glendale; a brother-n-law, Thomas Johnson, Savannah, GA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Janet was preceded in death by a sister, Barbara Johnson.
The Mass of Resurrection will be held at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 900 Geiger St., Neenah, with Rev. Larry Seidl officiating. The visitation will be held at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the hour of Mass. In lieu of flowers: please donate to the
or to the Lupus Foundation of America.
Westgor Funeral Home
205 W. Doty Ave.
Janet's family wishes to thank Rev. Mark Holmes, Theda Clark Chaplain, Dr. Steven Knaus, her primary physician, all the other doctors, nurses and staff at Theda Clark, who did their best for her, and her doctors in the Affinity Health System for their care and kindness over the years. They also wish to thank Rev. Larry Seidl, Pastor, and Pam Mullins, Pastoral Associate, at St. Gabriel Parish, for their kindness and support during Janet's hospital stays, and at the time of her passing.