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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 25, 2021

6/11/2021 5:29:00 AM
Janet Gambetti

Janet Gambetti, born Sept. 10, 1963, in Nyack, New York, began her spiritual journey June 4, 2021, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January.

Upon graduating from Rhinelander High School in 1981, Jan lived elsewhere but ended up making Rhinelander her lifetime home.

Dedicated and passionate about work, Jan will be remembered from when she was a cook at Country Kitchen, working the degreaser at Triumph Twist Drill, or vigorously and meticulously stocking shelves at Rhinelander Walmart in between assisting customers.

Anyone who truly knew Jan will remember her for her altruistic nature. From wildlife, to stray kitties, to her family and friends, everyone's needs came before her own. Seeing others happy brought her joy. Joy came in many forms, whether it was creating works of art, mimicking cartoon characters to make us laugh, or giving and getting a hug. She was unapologetically herself, genuine to the core, and a person was never left guessing where they stood with her.

Each day she would make time to have coffee with her parents and later enjoy "fire time" in her backyard where she would bond with nature, feed critters, and say prayers for anyone she thought needed them.

Gathering fire wood with her dad and finding things her mom could use for crafting were two of her priorities. Equally important were Jan's grandchildren, Andrew (Bubby) and Ellie (Sunshine Girl). Making the time she spent with them as memorable as possible meant everything to her. Ellie and she shared a special spiritual connection. That connection created an air of positivity and hope, sunshine and rainbows, any time life became bleak, but especially towards her final months.

On Jan's bucket list was to have a teepee of her very own. In her final month, this dream came to fruition, and Jan was able to spend a lot of quality time resting near her fire, often surrounded by family, talking about things she felt freest to reveal when near nature and the campfire.

Jan is survived by a daughter, Crystal Kallio (Michael Forstner), her grandchildren Andrew (Bubby) and Ellie (Sunshine Girl), her parents, Andy and Ellie Gambetti, her sisters Gina (Rod...teepee creator) DeMeyer and Barb Gambetti (Anthony....Anfomy....Mitchem), brother-in-law Brad Gerdes (Elizabeth Halverson), nieces Anna Kemp (Justin), Emma Gerdes, Megann Gerdes, nephew Miles Salzer, and many other great-nieces and great-nephews. Jan finally found her soul-mate and special friend, Doug (Doodles) Merrill, who has been instrumental in helping her love and accept herself and others exactly as they are.

Preceding her in death was her sister Michele (Moose) Gerdes.

It is Jan's wish to have no formal service. She would like to be thought of each time you see an animal or enjoy a fire of your own. If anyone desires to make a donation in Jan's memory, please direct it to Wild Instincts or the Oneida County Human Society.

The Gambetti family would like to thank Northern Hospice for making it possible for Jan to live out her corporeal journey surrounded by her loved ones at home.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2021
Article comment by: Rev. Dorie Hanson

Jan was a special person from a family of special people that I had the pleasure of knowing. My deepest sympathy to you all.

Posted: Monday, June 14, 2021
Article comment by: Mary Kuhl

My deepest sympathy to the entire Gambetti family in the loss of Jan, May God bless you during this trying time.

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