Janet Ruth Briegel of Grand Haven, passed away on Sunday, November 1, 2020, after a full life of 88 years. She was born in Grand Haven, MI on June 22, 1932, to John J. and Mina (Voss) Briegel.
After graduating from Grand Haven High School in 1950, she worked briefly as a secretary at both Keller Tool Co. and Reichardt’s. Encouraged by her sister and brother-in-law (Margaret and G. Stewart Johnson) to attend college, she moved to Kalamazoo and lived with the Johnson family while earning her bachelor’s degree in education at Western Michigan University. She then returned to Grand Haven, earned her master’s degree in education, and worked for 30 years in the Grand Haven Area Public Schools, teaching first and second grades at Ferry Elementary School. She retired in 1994.
Throughout her life, Janet loved all types of music, was an accomplished pianist and organist, and enjoyed participating in Grand Haven’s Tuesday Musicale group. After her retirement at age 62, she and her dear friend, Ruth Mehall, traveled a great deal, both in the U.S. and internationally, priding herself on visiting all 50 states and making five trips to Europe, visiting England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands.
She volunteered with the Tri-Cities Historical Museum and delivered Meals on Wheels. Janet was a life-long member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, where she taught Sunday School classes, played the piano and organ, and served on the church council and other committees.
Janet’s greatest love, however, was children, and she will always be remembered as a beloved teacher, an adventurer and avid reader, a kind and fun-loving person, and an excellent knitter and enthusiastic baker, who was particularly renowned for knitting mittens, hats and scarves, and “refrigerator towels,” and making pumpkin bread.
She will be lovingly missed by her two nieces: Dr. Nancy Levenburg and Marilyn (Dave) Van Laan; and her great-nieces and nephews, Adam (Mary) Levenburg, Sarah Levenburg (Scott Jones), Julie (Kurt) Goldsby, and Michael (Jamie) Van Laan, and their families. She is also survived by a large extended family, including numerous cousins. Her parents; as well as her sister, Margaret Johnson, preceded her in death.
The Funeral Service for Janet will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 9, 2020 at Klaassen Family Funeral Home with Pastor Matt Schmidt officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the service, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Social distancing and masks will be required at all services. Interment will be Lake Forest Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Janet R. Briegel Scholarship Fund, C/O the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Janet Ruth Briegel, please visit our floral store.
Janet R. Briegel Scholarship Fund, C/O G.H.A.C.F.
1 S Harbor Dr., Grand Haven MI 49417