November 6, 1929 - May 8, 2019
Evansville, WI -- Melvin "Mel" E. Janes, 90, died on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Mel was born on November 6, 1928 in Hinsdale, IL, the son of Laurence and Alma (Rasmussen) Janes. He grew up on a rented farm East of Evansville, and attended the nearby one room Brown School. Mel graduated from Evansville High School in 1946, and enjoyed many class reunions in past years. After high school, Mel attended UW Farm Short Course for two terms, and then served in the U.S. Air Force until 1952. He then returned to the family farm on Cemetery Road, which was purchased by his parents in 1947. Mel resided and farmed at "Pine Knoll Farms" for over 65 years.
On February 14, 1953, Mel was united in marriage to Ruth L. Thorsen, and they worked together on the farm with the help of their family. In 1963, they purchased the farm from his parents. Mel served on the board of Production Credit Association for 21 years, served many years as a 4-H leader, was on the board of Union Co-op, served as Union Town Chairman, was a long time member of WI Master Farmers, was a life time member of the state and national Holstein Association, and was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. He enjoyed golfing with the "Monday Old Timers" for several years, and coffee at The Heights in his later years. Mel and Ruth belonged to a card club with nine other couples that had played together for over 50 years.
Mel enjoyed the Badger Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2014, and had been inducted into the Rock County Ag Hall of Fame. Mel and Ruth liked to travel, and had been on many trips in the United States and abroad. Mel was always interested in the activities of his sons and their families.
Mel is survived by his four sons: Rod (Jan) of Darien, Dan (Michelle) of Evansville, Ken (Kaye) of Wooster, OH and Bob (Cheryl) of Evansville; ten grandchildren: Heather (Nate) Wagner, Jake, Emilie (David) Glindinning, Wade (Rachel), Amanda (Justin) Morton, Ashley, Allison (Evan Hershberger), Parker (Amanda), Lauren (Tom) Bjugstad and Brooke; eight great-grandchildren: Finnley, Ashlynn, Hadley, Lela, J.D., Alyvia, Claire and Elliott; sister, Janette Klemp of Edgerton; brother-in-law, Leo Thorsen; sister-in-law, Joanne Thorsen; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, in July of 2017; his parents; daughter, Linda; brother, Don Janes; brothers-in law, Walter Klemp and Bob Thorsen; and sisters-in-law, Jeanice Janes and Mary Lou Thorsen.
Funeral services will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Evansville on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Matthew Poock officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Hill Cemetery, Evansville with Military Rites provided by V.F.W. Post 6905 Evansville. A visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home, Evansville. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Heartland Hospice, or to St. John's Lutheran Church, Evansville. Condolences may be expressed at Wardhurtley.com