Janice R. Blumreich

Janice Rae Blumreich (“B/Ms. B”) passed away on March 22, 2024.

She was born March 17, 1934, to Annette and Ervin Blumreich. Jan graduated from Gillett High School in 1952. She attended Illinois State Normal and then taught two years in Farmington, Illinois, teaching physical education and as GAA adviser. While in Illinois, Jan also worked at State Farm Insurance, was paid to do laundry for a lady and was a nanny.

In 1958, she began her teaching career in the Oconto Unified School District where she traveled to country schools, and taught various subjects including history, drivers’ education, health and physical education. She also attended UW-Oshkosh to further her education, getting her bachelor of science in secondary education.

While working in the Oconto district, Jan was adviser for the GAA and cheerleaders. She had many good memories of those days. In 1972, Title IX was instituted, which gave girls equal rights to participate in athletics. Jan then coached track and field, basketball and golf. Her goal was always to develop good sportsmanship, work ethic, physical abilities and responsibility. She was very proud of her teams’ accomplishments, having earned several conference and regional titles, as well as having girls go to state in golf and track. She was one game away from going to state in basketball. Jan also served as the district’s athletic director for several years until her retirement in 1993.

Jan was involved in sports her whole life. When in high school, she got involved with a group that would travel to Keshena, Green Bay and surrounding areas for softball games. She played various positions, but mostly catcher. In 1949, at the age of 15, she tried out for the Racine Belles, an All-American girls professional baseball league, even though the age requirement was 16. She still has the ball that she used for tryouts. Jan was also a great bowler both in Gillett and Oconto. Her teams won many championships, and she once scored a 257 at the Legion Arcade in Gillett, which was the highest recorded by a woman there at that time.

Jan is probably most known for her golfing abilities. Although she has won numerous golf tournaments, it wasn’t until 2002 that she got a hole-in-one while playing in the Cretton-Gallagher Best Ball. In 1973, she became a teaching golf pro and pro shop manager at the Oconto Golf Club, where she gave individual and group golf lessons. She also became the manager of the OGC in 1998. Jan, and her friend, Kathy, facilitated the Oconto Junior Golf League from 2000-16, and instituted the MaryAnn Slaney Sportsmanship Award to honor the woman who ran the league for several decades until her death.

Being community minded, Jan was involved in running several golf outings to raise money for the Oconto Hospital Foundation, Special Olympics and the Machickanee Players. Jan also went out of her comfort zone and acted in the Machickanee Players, “Cemetery Club.”

Jan is survived by her goddaughter, Christine Schenkoske, Gillett; her best friend and care giver, Kathy McDougal; her “adopted nieces,” Shannon Schilawski and her daughter, Danielle (fiancé J.J. Borseth), Oconto; cousins, and friends, most who have been former students.

She is preceded in death by her parents, other relatives and friends.

Jan’s words:

“I have chosen Fr. Robert Karuhn to speak at my passing because he has become a good friend and has given me direction in this final phase of my life.

“I cannot forget to thank all the classes from 1958-1993. Many were very special!

“To all the students and athletes I had while I was a coach for girls golf, girls basketball, cheerleading, track and field, and gymnastics— the Oconto Award letter belongs to all I had in the sports listed!!!

“A huge thank you to Kathy, and my adopted family — Shannon, Dani, JJ, and (Steve).

“A special thank you to my dear friend Kathy, who helped me stay at home and gave me the special care and concern that was needed at certain times when things seemed dim. Kathy gave me the support and care that was needed and very much appreciated. Bless Kathy for everything she did from me. May God be with her forever!!! Thank you my dear friend, and thanks to all my friends in Oconto!!”

A special thank you to the staff at Unity Hospice for the wonderful continued care provided to Jan.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the Gallagher Funeral Home, Oconto, from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Memorial services will be conducted 6 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with the Rev. Bob Karuhn officiating.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.gallagherfuneralhome.net.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established.