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Jan Victor Jarvinen

August 16, 2023 | 13 comments

Jan Victor Jarvinen, age 75, of Onalaska, WI, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 11 at his home after living with diabetes for many years.  He was born on September 16, 1947 in Hancock, MI and married Lynn Ann Piersma on April 19, 1974 in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jan was born in Hancock, Michigan but grew up in Green Bay where he became an Eagle Scout and a lifelong Packer fan.  He was fond of telling his story of how he went to a Packer game with the Lombardi family and owned a share of Packer stock.

He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison before starting a career at University Hospitals.  He then spent 32 years working at Lutheran Hospital and Gundersen Medical Center as Director of Materials Management.  After his retirement he continued working as a consultant for hospitals around the country. In his time at Gundersen Clinic and Lutheran Hospital he was privileged to work with many fine people who became like second family to him. During this time he also volunteered for World Services and helped to develop medical resources in Kharkiv and Kyiv, Ukraine. In return he sponsored and hosted many people from the region.

He had a lifetime love of travel, camping and being outdoors. He enjoyed his weekly summer golf league. Proud of his Finnish heritage, he loved spending time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Jan is survived by Lynn, his wife of 49 years; sisters Ilona (Robert) Rouda of Roseville, MN and Sandra (Martin) Holden of Green Bay, WI; sons Aaron (Kelsey) Jarvinen and Andrew (Amanda) Jarvinen of Minneapolis, MN; beloved grandchildren Flynn and Ruby; many, many nieces and nephews that were near and dear to his heart; along with numerous close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Theodore Oswald and Laura Elizabeth (Tuomela) Jarvinen; parents-in-law Peter Melvin and Virginia (Braam) Piersma; brother Theodore Charles Jarvinen and sisters Laura Lea Pierkowski and Naomi Elizabeth Catching; and nephew Steven Theodore Pierkowski.

A celebration of Jan’s life will be held September 9, 2023 from 1-3 pm at Stoney Creek Lodge in the Lumberjack Room.  All friends are welcome to come and share memories of Jan with his family.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Jan’s name to Habitat for Humanity of La Crosse or the charity of your choice.



  1. Brian Theiler

    Very sad news, I had the great opportunity to work with him for many years. Jan was always a gentleman with a quiet sense of humor. He was generous and thoughtful, a big supporter of people at GHS( Muddy Flats) He will be missed, my prayers to his family.

    • Fred Kusch

      Brian is so correct in what he wrote about.”the Mad Finn”. Jan was a wonderful person. A great colleague and special human being. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
      Fred and Janet Kusch

  2. Vanessa Arendt

    My heart breaks for the family. There was so much that I didn’t know about Uncle Jan. So glad I got to spend the time with him when he and Lynn came down to visit us and also at Andy’s recent wedding. Love you all and hugs to go around. Nicky and Steve Arendt

  3. Carole jarvinen

    Terry & I are so sorry for your loss of the special person Jan was to each of you! We truly enjoyed the few times we spent with your family, as well as his inspirational & informational Facebook posts that kept us feeling connected! May our Lord comfort and surround you with his perfect love??✝️

  4. Bing Zillmer

    So sad to learn of Jan’s passing. I was a co-worker for many years and sometimes golfer. Jan was someone you could always trust to do the right thing.
    Sincere sympathy to Lynn and entire family.

  5. Sheila Garrity

    Dear Lynn, Aaron & Andrew & family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Please know you are in my thoughts & have my sympathy. Jan was a wonderful husband, father & member of our community. He made a difference in the quality of all of our lives.

  6. Bud Huuki

    What a great loss to all the family – our deepest condolences to all of you.
    Huuki Hugs
    Cousin Bud and Ruth

  7. Marilyn McElligott

    Dear Lynn and family, My deepest sympathy in the loss of Jan. He was a work colleague and a very special member of our “longest living learning team”. Our group will miss him dearly.

  8. John Kelly

    My condolences to the family and close friends of Jan. I had the honor to work along side Jan from 1993 until 2005. May his soul rest in peace.
    John Kelly

  9. Tom Pignet

    Dear Lynn…. Another chance to express my condolences. Please convey them to your boys and all the family…. I was going to convey them in person at the memorial gathering on Saturday but I got called out of town for the weekend. I’d even picked out a shirt & tie earlier this week… And I’m sorry I never met your Jan. By all the messages posted here he was a terrific guy.

  10. Julie Hundt

    We will miss Jan terribly. We’ve spent the last forty years enjoying the company of you both. Going out for fish, playing cards, or just meeting for drinks on your deck or our porch. You were more than friends and neighbors. You both became family and you attended all of our special events. Things will never be quite the same without him. Love to all of you.

  11. Steve Miller

    Jan was one of my best friends going way back to college when we did the 60’s togeather. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I ended up on the west coast so, of course, we saw less and less of each other over the years, but when we did, we picked up right where we’d left off. Miss you buddy, we had a lot of history togeather.

  12. John and Phylis Heck

    Lynn’ we are so very sad to hear of Jan’s passing. We were out of the country when we heard the news. We will miss him very much. We have sent a donation to Habitat in his honor.

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