Janet Elvie Schildman Swartz
October 31, 1924 – February 2, 2018
Janet Elvie Schildman Swartz was a wonderfully loving wife, mother and grandmother. Spending time with her family at every holiday and celebration was her joy in life. She will always be remembered for her witty sense of humor, love of birds and dogs, and the compassionate care she showed to those around her. Educated as a nurse, she utilized her nursing skills throughout her lifetime taking diligent care of her family. She enjoyed time on the river at the family cottage in Dresbach, arts, sewing, crafts, travel, reading, and church activities like the quilting group at English Lutheran Church.
Janet was born on Halloween in 1924 to Alfred and Gladys (Nelson)Schildman at the La Crosse Hospital. Her father carefully carried her two blocks home and she lived in the neighborhood for the majority of her life.
She was involved in school activities and played the violin for many school concerts. Family also often heard her talk about how she sang in the high school musical “HMS Pinafore”. Janet was a 1942 Central High School graduate. She learned welding in the summer of 1942 to help in the WWII effort, and considered working in a shipyard on Lake Superior. Instead, she helped weld a gate for the La Crosse Waterworks and a bike rack for the La Crosse Library. She then spent one year as a telephone operator before starting nursing school.
Janet began school at Northwestern School of Nursing and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in the fall of 1943.While in nursing school, Janet joined the US Nurse Cadet Corps program. In clinical rotations, she worked with polio patients in iron lungs machines and tuberculosis patients. She graduated in September of 1946 and came back to La Crosse to work at Lutheran Hospital. While working at Lutheran Hospital, Janet met her future husband Arnie in the hospital utility room. Arnie was there on a sales call for Swartz Office Supply. They were engaged on Christmas Eve of 1947 and married on May 1, 1948 at the Cargill House in La Crosse. Arnie and Janet were married for 62 years before Arnie’s death in 2010.
Survived by daughter, Jennifer Nordeen and husband Bruce of Dresbach, MN, daughter, Cathy Swartz of La Crosse, son, Arnold “Robin” Swartz III and wife Stephanie of Dresbach, MN and daughter, Laura Pryor and husband Joe of La Crosse. Grandchildren, Dr. Derek(Julie) Nordeen of La Crosse, Ann (Joel) Parker of Memphis, TN, Lisa Janet (Matt)Sterbenz of Salt Lake City, Utah, Jeffrey (Amy) Sexauer of La Crosse, Melissa (Brian) Sexauer-Mlsna of Brownsville, MN, Lauren Swartz of Chicago, IL, Kristin Swartz of Minneapolis, MN and Andrew Pryor of La Crosse. Great grandchildren, Will and Charlie Nordeen, Grey and Eve Parker, Rune Sterbenz, Olivia Sexauer, and Berkley and Briella Mlsna. Brothers, David(Lorna)Schildman of La Crosse, John Schildman and Dee Tucker of Black River Falls; Sister in law, Jean Rennebohm of Madison; and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, February 6 at 11:00am at English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street, in La Crosse. A luncheon will follow immediately after the service for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the English Lutheran Church Music Program.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bethany on Cass and Bethany St. Joseph Care Center, particularly Dr. David Momont and Dr. Joan Matey-Romeyn for their kind and compassionate care of Janet over the years. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.
“Gone yet not forgotten, although we are apart, your spirit lives within us, forever in our hearts.”
To view Janet’s memorial video please copy and paste the link into your address bar: