Janet J. Karthaus, 92

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Janet J. Karthaus, 92

Janet Julia Karthaus (née Blonigan), passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at St. John’s on Fountain Lake in Albert Lea, one week after her 92nd birthday. Janet was born in Wahpeton, North Dakota, on November 4, 1931, to Henry and Susan Blonigan. Janet attended Wahpeton High School and while there, she earned money working at the Gilles Theatre, taking tickets and selling candy. Following graduation, she joined the US Air Force and was assigned to San Antonio. She always said that she joined the Air Force to see the world and instead ended up seeing Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. While at Brooks, she became a dental hygienist and played on a travelling softball team. More significantly, she met John (Jack) Karthaus who was also serving at Brooks and on November 21, 1952, they were married. After they were both discharged, Jack and Janet moved to Humphrey, Nebraska, where they had their first daughter, Susan, and later moved to Webster City, Iowa, where their daughter, Debra was born. Ultimately, they settled in Austin, Minnesota, where their two sons, John Jr. and Christopher were born. Although she may not have travelled very far while serving in the Air Force, she continued to love travel and made sure that Jack did not squander valuable vacation time at home. Both she and Jack were active parishioners at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin. She was a very social person and both she and Jack enjoyed dancing at the American Legion Hall, volunteering at church, golfing, and entertaining friends, and family. Janet enjoyed watching the Twins, Vikings, and Gophers. She loved to laugh and be with people. She was never shy about engaging strangers in conversation and found people to talk to everywhere she went – a trait that her husband Jack always marveled about. Shortly after Jack passed away, she moved into assisted living at St. John’s where she quickly made friends among both the staff and residents. Janet lit up every room she was in, and she will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.

Survivors include her daughters, Susan (Tom) Nystrom and Debra (Dan) Kahnke; son, John (Caroline) Karthaus, Jr.; eight grandchildren, Angela (Paul) Bernier, Brigitte (Shawn) Wilkins, Jeffery (Christine) Kahnke, Kirsten Nystrom, Ryan Kahnke, Alex (Miranda) Kahnke, Breanna Schofield, and Eleanor Karthaus; 17 great-grandchildren; sister, Beverly (Robert) Sundahl; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, John (Jack) Karthaus; parents, Henry and Susan Blonigan; son, Christopher; granddaughter, Christine; sister, Ann Doering; and brother, Charles Blonigan.

Thank you to the staff of St. John’s on Fountain Lake and St. Croix Hospice for their loving care and friendship.

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A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 17, 2023, at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin, Minnesota. Friends may call one hour before the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery following the mass. Memorials are preferred to the Hormel Institute in Austin, Minnesota for research into Cockayne Syndrome. Mayer-Hoff Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.mayerfh.com.