Jeanette Marie Nicolaisen

May 24, 1937 ~ October 20, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Jeanette “Jan” Nicolaisen, 86, left this world in Naples, Florida on October 30, 2023. Jan was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend. She was born to Jane Jenkins on May 24,1937 in Sayre, Pennsylvania. While attending college in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, she met and married her husband of 63 years, Ian “Nic” Nicolaisen. Together, they raised four children: Lisa, Jon, Mia and Brad.
Jan and Nic loved spending winters at their home in Naples, Florida, but always called Wisconsin “home”. In 1973, they moved to Elroy, Wisconsin where they formed special friendships that have lasted through both their lives. While living in Elroy, Jan helped found the first Nursery/Early Childhood School at the Elroy United Methodist Church, serving as the board’s chair for the first 5 years. Jan also served two terms on the Elroy-Kendall- Wilton School Board. In 1980, Jan and Nic moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin to share their love of golf.
Jan’s vocational passion was teaching – math and science, and even golf (only if you asked). She began her professional 20-year teaching career at Western Wisconsin Technical College in Mauston, Wisconsin where she was instrumental in building the Adult Basic Education program into a state model, allowing adults to earn their GED and High School Equivalency diplomas. She was awarded the Adult Educator of the Year by her state peers.
Always a rabid learner, Jan obtained a Masters in Adult Education degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1990, she was tapped by Governor Tommy Thompson to serve on the State Vocational and Technical Education Board, where her passion was to ensure credit transfers and pathways between the Wisconsin Technical Colleges and the University of Wisconsin System.
Jan adored her Weimaraner dogs, raising 11 puppies at one point. If you were in Jan’s house, the rule was the dog got the best breakfast and the first choice of seat in the house. She was always quick to smile and the first to laugh at herself. Her witty remarks carried through in her annual Christmas letters, at her Reedsburg family room bar hosting friends with an Old Fashioned, and on the golf course on the rare occasion she shanked one into
the woods.

Jan was preceded in death by Ian Nicolaisen (2020), and is survived by four children; Lisa Nicolaisen, Jon (Jill) Nicolaisen, Mia Nicolaisen and Brad Nicolaisen as well as four grandchildren; Nathan (Sarah) Nicolaisen, Ali (Ethan) DeGross, Jared Nicolaisen, and Emma Nicolaisen. She is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Ava and Ian Nicolaisen. Each one, she loved and touched deeply.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Reedsburg Country Club in Reedsburg, Wisconsin on Saturday, December 16, 2023. A remembrance service will begin at 12:00 pm. Friends are invited to join the family for refreshments, lunch and fellowship immediately following. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at or donations to your local library would be
most appreciated.

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