Kenneth Robert Janson, 71, of Pelkie, Michigan passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on Saturday, June 24th after a courageous battle with cancer. Ken was born on August 19th, 1951 in Menominee, Michigan to Howard and Luella (Sorenson) Janson. He graduated salutatorian from Menominee High School in 1969.
He attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, earning his bachelors in business administration in 1973. At Michigan Tech, he met his wife, Lael (Stern) and they married on June 19, 1976. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he earned his masters in business administration in 1975 and a doctorate in business administration in 1979.
As a gifted teacher and sharer of knowledge, his professional life included serving as a Professor of Accounting at Michigan State University (1979-1982), Michigan Technological University (1982-1988) and Northern Michigan University (2001-2015) where he retired Professor Emeritus. He earned excellence in teaching awards at each university and influenced the lives of hundreds of students through his eloquent writing and storytelling. He worked for D&N Bank and D&N Financial Corporation from 1988 until the company's merger in 1999 as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer.
He was an active member of Grace Free Lutheran Church in Pelkie, serving on the church council and as treasurer for many years. His faith in Jesus was the foundation to his life.
His love of the Upper Peninsula and the outdoors was prevalent throughout his life. He was an enthusiastic downhill skier and served on ski patrol while he was an undergrad at Michigan Tech. He was an avid fisherman and in 2020 he finally caught 'the big one' and earned a Master Angler Patch. In retirement he was an active member of the Ottawa Sportsman Club and served as Club President from 2020-2022.
Ken was also a farmer, establishing Janson Farms with his family in 1979. The farm's permanent home was founded in Pelkie in 1984. He greatly enjoyed making hay, experimenting with new farming techniques, and caring for the family's herd of Simmental cattle. He loved to garden and often grew excess bounty that he enjoyed sharing with friends and neighbors.
Kenneth is survived by his wife Lael, brother David Janson of Plymouth, MI, daughters Alison (Michael) O'Halloran of Dallas, Texas and Kristen (Trent) Batchelor of Fountain Hills, Arizona, and grandchildren Thomas Batchelor (12), Henry O'Halloran (10), Lydia Batchelor (9), Markus Batchelor (7), Gavin O'Halloran (7), and Alexander Batchelor (2). He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Amy Janson, parents Howard and Luella Janson, and in-laws Harold and Grace Stern.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 29th from 11:00 am at Grace Free Lutheran Church in Pelkie. Funeral services will be held at 12 pm at the church with Pastor Dave Hoskins officiating. Burial will be in the Pelkie Cemetery. Jacobson Funeral Services of L'Anse is assisting the family.
Friends may sign Kenneth's guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.