Cover photo for Janice Ann Knutson's Obituary
Janice Ann Knutson Profile Photo
1937 Janice 2023

Janice Ann Knutson

September 17, 1937 — December 3, 2023


It is with heavy hearts to announce Janice Ann Knutson passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on Sunday, December 3, 2023; she was 86 years old. She was born in Marshfield, WI on September 17, 1937. Her parents were Emery and Marcella Peterson.

Janice grew up in Marshfield, living on a farm, until she graduated from high school. She went on to complete her certificate at Marvel Beauty School in Milwaukee, paid for by her loving aunt. Janice moved to Wausau and was a homemaker for many years before starting at the Wausau Country Club in 1979. In December 1987, she began working at Wausau Hospital now Aspirus until her retirement in 2014. Over the years, she also worked multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet, including cleaning houses where some of her clients became close friends and companions.

She married the love of her life, Louis Knutson in 1959. They had their first-born son, who tragically lost his life at 3 months old to meningitis. Janice and Louis went on to have six more beautiful children together. Following their divorce, Janice was fortunate to fall in love twice more and was blessed with two more beautiful children. Ultimately, she raised all eight children as a single mom.

Janice enjoyed walks and attending the annual Wisconsin Valley State Fair at Marathon Park. She also loved hiking at Rib Mountain every fall, as she especially loved the fall colors of autumn. Her favorite vacation places were Disney World, where she loved to ride “It’s a Small World” and Wisconsin Dells with her favorite ride being the Dells’ Ducks. Both destinations became traditional visits with family and friends.

She also loved baking and creating edible creations she found in magazines. She was known for her cooking, especially her dumplings and roll-out cookies. Anyone who came into her home was welcomed, including for holidays when her children often brought home friends with nowhere else to go. All were treated as family.

Janice worked hard her entire life and with an unwavering sense of determination and strong work ethic. She let nothing get in her way of caring for her children and grandchildren. She was always there for her family, even when she was working multiple jobs. She created an unbreakable bond between her children, a bond that no matter what life throws at them, they are always there for each other. Her family’s special closeness is appreciated by many.

She always believed things happened for a reason. Janice found comfort in her faith throughout her life, guiding and supporting her through the ups and downs. She leaves behind a void in the hearts of family and friends who were blessed to have known her. She is at peace now, reunited with her loved ones who have gone before her.

While devoting her life to her faith and family, she leaves behind eight children, Lori (Ray) Thomas, Lisa Connell, Mike (Sheri) Knutson, Mark Knutson Sr., Cindy Gosse, Wendy Knutson, Todd Knutson, and Tori (Kurt) Granec.

She also leaves behind 21 grandchildren, Josh, Drew, Travis, Angela, Lucas, Michael, Alissa, Jerome, Savannah, Mark Jr, Samantha, Taylor, Branden, Heather, Rachel, Christopher, Zachery, Avery, Jackson, Christian, Vivian, and Joe; 25 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren and many others who call her grandma, as well as 2 brothers, Myron (Mike) Peterson, Bill Carey, sister-in-law, Renate Peterson; her best friend of 67 years; Sherrie Rohde, better known as Peachy, and many other close friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Christopher; her brothers Emery Jr, and Donny, and her sister Sharon.

Visitation will be held at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 700 W. Bridge St., Wausau, WI. on December 13, 2023, at 11am until noon. Mass services will begin at 12 pm followed by a meal at the Eagle’s Club, 1703 S. 3rd Ave., Wausau, WI. If you are unable to attend the funeral, you may watch the livestream on the Helke Funeral Home website by following their link.

Janice’s children would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the team of staff at Marshfield Hospital in Weston for the wonderful care and support of our beloved mom and our family as she passed on, Father Tom of St. Anne’s for her Last Rites, as well as the extraordinary care and devotion from Rennes Health & Rehab Center and Interim Healthcare staff during her care these past few years.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janice Ann Knutson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Anne's Catholic Church

700 W Bridge St, Wausau, WI 54401

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

St. Anne's Catholic Church

700 W Bridge St, Wausau, WI 54401


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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