Shirley Ann (Taylor) Janowicz, of Sheldon, passed away at the young age of 74 on Friday, July 3, 2020, from current health conditions that were further exacerbated by the COVID-19 virus.
Shirley was born to the late Ernest Taylor and Esther (Baldry) Petska on Aug. 12, 1945, at home, in New Auburn. Throughout Shirley’s youth, her family had moved to various towns in Wisconsin including Bloomer, Chippewa Falls and Arnold. During those years her parents divorced and her mother remarried the late Wilfred Petska. Shirley is the eldest sibling of nine brothers and sisters.
Shortly before Shirley graduated from Lake Holcombe School in 1964, she started dating the love of her life, Gerald “Jerry” Janowicz, whom she had met at the local Arnold Bar. They were joined in marriage at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Sheldon on Oct. 31, 1964. Shirley was coined for the saying, “I believe I got tricked and he got treated!” being that they were wed on Halloween.
Shirley then joined Jerry on the Janowicz Homestead Farm that was located northwest of Sheldon on County Road VV. During their free time as a young couple, they enjoyed going dancing, visiting and playing cards with family and friends. Shirley and her husband continued to run the family dairy farm until 2000, when they chose to sell the farm due to their health conditions.
They then bought a house and moved “in town” (Sheldon) as Shirley would say. This is when Shirley found time to begin her craft business, Floral De-Lites By Shirley. Her signature crafts were her beautiful lit floral baskets and wreaths, along with her hand painted lit glass blocks. Shirley also enjoyed gardening and always had gorgeous flowers blooming. Another one of her favorite pastimes was to sit on her deck with her husband and watch the birds.
Shirley had also been a longtime member of the Marshall Area Homemakers, in which years past she helped organize the gathering and distribution of supplies for a local men’s shelter. Shirley tried to be a part of her community by doing such things as volunteering at the local food pantry, serving on the board of the Rusk County Senior Housing Authority and being the chief inspector of the village’s Election Board. And even though Shirley’s health had been failing for years, she tried to remain active.
Only a few people knew the extent to which she struggled with her rheumatoid arthritis and aortic stenosis. However, no matter how sick or hurting, her joy for life and indomitable spirit kept her pushing through the pain. Shirley was always determined and never stopped fighting. Shirley would light up a room with her loving vivacious larger-than-life personality that was full of humor and always made the people around her laugh. Shirley was renowned for her lack of patience, making her own rules, not holding back her opinions and her knack for telling it like it is. Shirley deeply cared for all her family, friends and neighbors. She was always the first to offer love, support and help. And when she couldn’t, she figured out how she could, and did! Shirley did not do this out of obligation, but because that is the kind of person she was.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest Taylor, Wilfred Petska and Esther (Baldry) Petska.
Shirley is survived by her loving husband and companion of 55 years, Gerald Janowicz of Sheldon and her favorite and only child, Richard Janowicz and his wife who was more like a daughter to Shirley than daughter-in-law, Barbie Janowicz of Eau Claire. She is further survived by her beautiful and talented granddaughter, Larissa Tierney (John) of Oconomowoc; her precious great-granddaughter, that she was ever so adoringly proud of, Lily Janowicz of Oconomowoc and her beloved and cherished great-niece, Victoria “Tori” Riel of Watford City, N.D. And even though Shirley was a mother-figure to many, she is also survived by her fond daughter-figure, Trisha Sanders (Jaime Coker) of Waite Park, Minn. and by her “only grandmother that she has ever really known” granddaughter-figure, Malaya Sanders of Minneapolis, Minn. Shirley also leaves behind her siblings that she was extremely proud of, Ernie Taylor (Diane) of Stanley, Linda Detlaff (Jerry) of Sheldon, Dawn Fliflet (Phil) of Sheldon, Diane Miller (Paul) of Sheldon, Carol Ahrens of Kennan, Will Petska (Lynn) of Lena, Bill Petska (Karen) of Jump River and Connie Petska (Darin Callahan) of Gilman. She is also survived by countless nieces and nephews and numerable great-nieces and great-nephews that she held so very dear to her heart.
All who loved Shirley dearly, will never forget her tenacity, humor, wit, charm and undying love and caring for them. She loved all and was loved by all. Shirley will be forever in our hearts.
Shirley will be laid to rest at a private graveside memorial service at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sheldon. There will be a celebration of Shirley’s life held at a later date next year. As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to
The Nash-Jackan Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.