Obituary of Janet Cecelia Gonder
On December 18, 2023, Jesus welcomed Janet Cecelia Gonder with open arms into her heavenly home saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
The family would like to invite you to honor Janet and celebrate her life on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Spirit Life Fellowship Church, 2504 Enterprise Avenue, Spirit Lake, Iowa, with a visitation at 9:30 am, service at 10:30 am, followed by a time of enjoying Janet’s favorite foods and fellowship.
Janet was born May 8, 1936 in her family’s farm house in Beaver Township, Humboldt County, Iowa, dearly loved and nurtured by her parents Lancelot and Charlena (Haviland) Johnson. Janet attended the country school just up the road from her home through the 8th grade. Janet enjoyed a care-free childhood on the farm, especially spending time with her pet goats. She graduated from Humboldt High School in 1954. She married Delmer Gonder on September 11, 1954. They made their first home in Eagle Grove, Iowa where they lived above the fire department, as Delmer had a job driving the fire truck on call. They then made their home on a farm north of Thor, where Janet was a homemaker and mother, and Delmer began his career in construction. Their daughter, Lou Ann was born August 10, 1955, and their son, Larry was born April 28, 1958. Janet and Delmer raised mink. Janet stayed home to feed and tend to the daily chores with the mink. Janet also raised Pekingese dogs. Delmer and Janet built a new house on the farm in 1965, when they sold the mink. Shortly thereafter, Janet studied for and passed her Commodity Broker’s license. She started working as a commodity broker in an office located in the Humboldt Livestock Auction. Janet then worked for Humboldt Trust and Savings Bank as a teller. The family enjoyed the farm life, farming the ground and always having horses to ride. Most summer weekends the family would be enjoying a trail ride or competing in horse shows. The family also enjoyed camping, boating, fishing, snowmobiling and playing games together. In 1975, Janet and Delmer built a new home on East Lake Okoboji, Iowa, where they lived next door to their life-long friends, Marvin and Elaine Gribble. In 1993, they built a new home on Little Spirit Lake, Iowa. Living in the lakes area Janet worked as a bank teller. Janet’s passionate customer service work ethic was noticed, and she was encouraged to become a real estate agent. Selling Real Estate in the Okoboji lakes area became her career passion. Janet was very successful and earned top salesperson awards. At one point in her real estate career, she and Delmer established TLC Realty with their friends John and Kathy Hinn. The initials TLC stood for Town, Lakeshore and Country, as well as Tender Loving Care, which was their customer service goal. Janet and Delmer also bought, improved, and sold farm ground. Janet continued to be involved in the farming operation, even while living at the lake. Janet would make trips to the farm to check the crops, and more importantly, Janet would pray God’s protection and blessing over the crops. During harvest, Janet would travel to the farm and haul loads to town with the 1066 International. Janet continued to sell real estate, until she retired to care for Delmer during his struggle with terminal cancer. Janet continued to live on Little Spirit Lake, until August of 2021 when she moved to Holland MN with her daughter. In October of 2022, she moved to Bickford Senior Living Cottage in Ft Dodge, Iowa, where she and her cat, Sweet Pea, enjoyed living until her death. The family is so thankful for the love and skilled care of the Bickford care givers and staff, who made Janet feel like family. Also thankful for the many services of the compassionate Hospice providers.
Janet loved and enjoyed her family. Her favorite gathering was when she would fry up and serve the fish that Delmer had caught. She was so proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was lovingly referred to by Lou Ann’s family as Grandma Lake and Larry’s family as Grandma Froggie. She was the best Grandma ever. She was always there for her family with a listening ear and was quick to uplift them with Bible promises and prayer.
Janet will always be remembered for her deep Christian Faith. Her parents nurtured her in the Christian Faith, and she lived her life nurturing her family and friends in the Christian Faith. She lived her life in the Joy of the Lord and shared her faith, in word and deed with her family, friends, and casual acquaintances. Janet could strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and within minutes be praying with them about their trials and troubles. She was a true Prayer Warrier! Many souls have been touched and led to the Lord, because of her faith and prayers.
Janet is survived by her daughter, Lou Ann (Rod) Perli and her son, Larry (Kelly) Gonder. Seven grandchildren Heather (Mike) Rushmeyer, Angie (Corey) Ransom, McKinsey Gonder, Layth Gonder, Chassidy (Dayton) Ruby, Laura (Matt) Hart and Shay (Miranda) Gonder. Twenty-one great-grandchildren Tasha, Anna, Lincoln; Carter (Emily), August, Abbie, Jon (Kara), Jacob, Courtney; Tayeton, Ryah, Pax, Zaharah; Asher; Micah, Kai, Noa; Tatum; Mirae, Shayda and Maycee. She was preceded in death by her husband, Delmer, her parents Lancelot and Charlena Johnson, her brother and sister-in-law Ralph & Janet Johnson, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Evelyn & Leland Knack, and her great-granddaughter Amirah Hawes.
Janet was loved by all. Her Scripture-talk and loving smile will be greatly missed.