Jeannette Beatrice Wicklund was born to Ellis Wicklund and Maribelle Brist in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, June 11, 1941, and passed away, age 81, at home in Polson, Montana on Monday, July 11, 2022.
She was a loving mother of four sons and one daughter and was immersed in connecting with all people and taking care of them if they needed help. She had a talent for creative writing and earned a GED, an associate degree from Edmonds Community College and later graduated from the University of Washington in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She went on to work in real estate management until retiring in her early seventies.
Jeannette’s parents, Ellis, and Maribelle lived for a time in Eugene, Oregon and Metaline Falls, Washington and one snowy day in December 1948, packed up their children and left for Kalispell, Montana where a job awaited Ellis at the nearby Hungry Horse Dam, which was under construction at that time. Aug. 16, 1950, was a sad day for Jeannette as she lost her father when Ellis suffered a fatal fall on the job. Five years later in 1955, Jeannette’s mother Maribelle and Thomas Brist fell in love and were married shortly after. Joan, the last of her five siblings, was born in 1957.
Jeannette was blessed with a large family that she loved, and they loved her back. She married a friend and fellow classmate, H. William (Bill) Hinrichsen from Flathead High School in Kalispell, Montana where they attended school until they eloped and married in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1958. Gregory was born in 1958, Michael was born in 1960, Richard was born in 1962 and Steven in 1964. In the early 1970s Jeannette remarried and two more children joined the family–Marc, who was a year older than Gregory, and Lynda, who was the same age as Richard. Jeannette raised her children with patience and love while meeting challenges along the way with dignity. She was a wonderful cook, read stories to her kids, such as “Mrs. Wiggins and the Cabbage Patch,” and took the family on many trips seeing the natural beauty of many states in the USA as well as abroad. She loved sculpting, potted flower gardening–especially nasturtiums, playing board games such as Scrabble, and watching movies.
Jeannette worked hard to keep family all together and had a heart for the Lord. She had so many friends including best friend and sculptor, Pam Summers, and she always made time to connect with and visit extended family, friends, and colleagues. She was especially fond of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Being so very close to her sister Ellen Wicklund, Ellen took care of her for many months until she passed. In her final years, new friends and the community at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Polson brought her great joy, love and laughter. She loved her cats Amber, Zorro and Buddy.
Jeannette suffered a fate no parent should have to endure when she lost 2 children both Steven in 1993 and Lynda in 2018. She was a caretaker to both in their final days. Jeannette was preceded in death by her parents Ellis Wicklund, Maribelle Brist, Thomas Brist; brother, Harvey Wicklund, sister, Phyllis Wicklund; son, Steven Hinrichsen, daughter, Lynda Rygmyr, and former husband, Jerry Wetle.
She is survived by her brother Roger Wicklund; sister-in-law, Judy Wicklund; sisters, Ellen Wicklund, Joan Morse and brother-in-law, Denny Morse; sons, Gregory Hinrichsen, Michael Hinrichsen, and Richard Hinrichsen, son-in-law, David Rygmyr, daughter-in-law, Vivian Hinrichsen, grandchildren, Ryan, Sierra, Corey, Christian, Lars, Emily, Eric, Maily, and Mischa; many nephews and nieces, and 5 great-grandchildren. As well as so many friends that Jeannette considered extended family.
Memorial services for Jan will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and a luncheon will follow. Send donations in honor of Jan Wicklund to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 409 4th Ave. E., Polson MT 59860.