Janice Bjerke Gunness 1951 - 2024

Janice Bjerke Gunness came in to this world on July 12, 1951, and departed March 28, 2024. In 1955, Karl Bjerke and Connie (Navarro) Bjerke moved their family to McMinnville, Oregon, when Janice was four years old. She was born in 1951 on her father’s birthday, and sharing the same birthday was something they both cherished. She is survived by her husband of 41 years, Frank; children, Tony (Paula) and Khara (Doug); her brothers, Robert (Teresa) and Randy; special friend and sister, Susan (Paul); nieces, nephews, several close in-laws and many cousins.

When you remember Jan, think of “a life well lived.” Her family and friends are missing her good humor and contagious enthusiasm…that person who often said, “It’ll be fun!” She swam a mile at the Mac pool three times a week for over 40 years and swam in the Cross Channel Swim on the Columbia River several times. She loved being with her swim buddies, but her favorites were savoring her coffee on the deck at sunrise and tending her plantings in her greenhouse. She loved working with plants and enjoyed her employment at Mac Rental Nursery and Wilco, where she could “talk plants.” She was generous with her plant knowledge and helped many with their gardening decisions.

Jan was a graduate of McMinnville High School and earned a Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University in 1973. She played tennis for both Mac High and OSU. She worked many years for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska, Oregon and Idaho. She loved to be outside, whether it was canoeing, biking, hiking the Oregon Cascades and National Parks, reeling in a 40-pound Chinook or in the greenhouse, propagating Giant Redwoods from cuttings…she enjoyed it all!

Per Jan’s request, no Celebration of Life is planned. The family would like to thank Jan’s medical team and Visiting Angels for their loving care. Remember Jan for her honesty and good humor. Friends and family were everything to her, and we will miss her forever.


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