Janet Elaine Hakala, 1933-2021

My mom died peacefully today at 11:25 Mountain Time at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She died too soon. I feel that after she fainted at Church several months ago, the doctor ignored what she told him and concluded that she fainted due to low blood sugar. She has had atrial fibrillation for several years and, in hindsight, we learned that her fainting was caused by her heart not providing enough blood to her brain. She was otherwise healthy and lucid. I expected her to live many more years.S

She fainted one more time, unfortunately in a parking lot this time, and hit her head on the concrete. She was rushed to the hospital where she was initially conscious and they correctly diagnosed her heart problem and put a pacemaker in (which is an amazingly simple procedure these days!). Had she had it installed months earlier, she would likely not have fainted a second time. She started to decline while in the hospital and after 3 weeks, she passed away.

Obituary

Janet Elaine (Amundson) Hakala passed away on October 13, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Born in Bottineau, ND on July 15, 1933 to Amund Amundson and Matilde (Iverson) Amundson. She was raised on the family farm, attended rural school and graduated from Bottineau High School in 1951.

In 1952, she started employment at Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. in Bottineau. Later, she transferred with the company to Bismarck, ND and then to Minneapolis, MN, where she met William W. Hakala, a University of Minnesota student. Janet and Bill were married at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Minneapolis on November 26, 1960. They then moved to Renton, WA, where she transferred to Pacific Telephone & Telegraph, eventually retiring.

During her marriage, she and her husband were the adventurous types and lived in several different cities and states, and had the opportunity to travel to 5 continents. One of the stopping places was in Blacksburg, VA where their son, Todd was born, and her husband earned a PhD in Civil Engineering.

Her husband’s employment brought the family to Albuquerque, NM, where their second child, Trisha, was born.

Returning to Virginia, this time just outside of Washington, DC, where their third child, Troy, was soon born. The family remained in the DC area for 25 years. When their youngest child was in high school, Janet returned to the work force and was employed by a law firm until her husband retired. After retirement, Janet and Bill moved to Ocean City, MD and later to Summerfield, FL. In 2015, they moved once again to Albuquerque to be near family.

Janet was a devoted mother spending much of her time tending to her beloved children. She volunteered in schools, supported all of her children’s activities, sewed uniforms/costumes, and took the time to play with her kids. She enjoyed teaching them many life skills, and made sure to express her love on a daily basis.

Wherever they lived, she served her church for many years as a member of The Altar Guild. She served on many ministries throughout the years. A gifted seamstress, she sewed many paraments for the church altar. The church trees were decorated with detailed, handmade crismonds. She delivered countless meals to people through the Meals on Wheels program. In addition, Janet applied her knitting skills to create prayer shawls for people in need.

She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, brother Myron Amundson, sister Marjorie Geiszler, and grandson Alexander Hakala. She is survived by her three children Todd (Rozanne) of Placitas, NM, Trisha (Jeff) Dickshinski of Aldie, VA, and Troy (Gay) Hakala of Seattle, WA, and grandchildren Kristin Hakala, Sarah Dickshinski, Leah Dickshinski, Havana Hakala, Hudson Hakala, and Eva Hakala. She is also survived by two sisters, Lorna Boreson of Albuquerque, NM and Arlene Johnson of Maple Grove, MN, and several nieces and nephews.

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