Dr. Donald Robert Janecek, 73, of Linton
Donald Robert Janecek, 73, of Linton, better known to all as Doc was born on Jan. 20, 1940, to William and Elizabeth (Geiger) Janecek at West St. Paul, Minn. He passed on surrounded by family at St. Alexius Medical Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
Doc grew up in West St. Paul, Minn., and spent his summers at the family lake cabin in Milltown, Wis., on Half Moon Lake. He had many stories to tell about the great times there with his buddies, the Meidner family, his brother and sister, and others. Doc also loved to fix up and drive hot rod cars and Harleys in his younger years, a love that he shared through stories throughout his life.
While in his early teens he discovered horses, another passion, which he passed on to his eight children, local kids, and grandchildren as well. Doc served as a 4-H leader of the Diamond B 4-H Horse Club. Due to his involvement with the 4-H horse club, he was asked to serve on the North Dakota State Fair Board, which he did for many years. One of Doc’s favorite things to do with his family was to take the kids and show their horses at the N.D. State Fair. The whole family would pack up and spend a week at the Fair showing their horses. Doc’s horses won many awards around the region and for a short while he and one of his horses Kitzy were National Champs in the American Quarter Horse Competition of Trail Class. There were always horses on the farm for the family especially the little ones to enjoy.
When it was time for Doc to go off to college, he had been admitted to pharmacy school, but one day while visiting the University of Minnesota he saw some of the veterinary medicine students working on animals and asked what they were doing. They told him they were veterinary students; he went to the Admissions Office and changed his major. Doc graduated in June of 1962 with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota. Becoming a veterinarian was a decision Doc never regretted retiring in November of 2012 after 48 ½ years of practice as an “old-time-country” veterinarian. Through the years Doc hired some of the kids that other people wouldn’t and gave them a chance to prove themselves. Many of Doc’s hired men have gone on to be successful contributing members of their communities.
It was through one of his lab partners, Robert Stukel, that he met the love of his life and wife of 50 years, Kay. He fell in love with her the minute he saw her at her home dressed in a brown tweed skirt and a white blouse. They were married on June 23, 1962. Together they raised eight kids, keeping them busy through horseback riding and gardening, sports, piano lessons (yes everyone had to take them-Doc said) and other chores he would leave on a list when he left each morning on calls around the countryside or the sales barns.
Doc’s love of children was also evident in the community of Linton as well. Doc served on the Linton School Board for many terms. He had a special place in his heart for children with special needs. He served on the Emmons County Special Education Board and even served as the President of that Board. Doc had also instilled in all eight of his children the importance of treating every person with dignity and respect regardless of ability. Doc and Kay were also part of the group that started the After Graduation Parties in Linton staying up all night cooking food, playing games and just enjoying the high school crowd after their Big Day.
Everything Doc did was for his family. His wife, Kay and his eight kids were his pride and joy. He and Kay instilled in their children how to work hard, have pride in what you do and stand up for what is right - no matter how unpopular it made you. Doc and Kay also instilled a strong sense of faith. Every night after supper one of the kids would read a story out of the children’s bible. You needed to pay attention while the story was being read because there was a short quiz at the end. If you didn’t pay attention to the story there were definite consequences. Education was also very important. All of Doc and Kay’s children were expected to make the honor roll each nine weeks; and all of them did most of the time. All eight kids went to college with six of the kids earning advanced degrees. Another life lesson Doc taught us was that you didn’t quit until the job was done and done right. His love of family was evident even in the end when he couldn’t talk and still was winking and flirting with Kay, the love of his life.
Doc shared his life with his wife of 50 years, Kay (Stukel) Janecek; children, Jennifer (Kerry) Janecek-Hartman, Jody (Kevin) Horner, Jess (Jody) Janecek, Buck “Joseph” (Kim) Janecek, Jane (Dan) Conroy, Justine (Kevin) Schumacher, Jake “Jacob” (Vivian) Janecek, Joy “Pinky” (Cale) Lewis; honorary son, Lee Auch; brother William Janecek; sister Ginger Ostrander; grandchildren, Zack, “Zman” Maier; Kara, Kelsey, Katy and Kyle Horner; Matt, Josh and Luke Janecek; Tyler and Sami Janecek; Jaci, Jake and Jarod Conroy; Casaundra, McKenna, Garon, Kolin and Calista “Moochie” Schumacher; Jocelyn, Jade and Jalen Janecek; Brooklyn and Grayson Lewis; stepgrandchildren, Krystal, Jaime and Lukas Hartman; brothersin law, Lloyd Stukel and Wally (Elaine Larson) Stukel.
Doc was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ruth (Geiger) Janecek.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Peace Lutheran Church, Linton, with the Rev. Darrel Aleson officiating.
Doc said it best, “I had one hell of a life. I had Harleys, horses, hot rods, and more fun than any man.”
Weigel Funeral and Cremation Services of Mandan was in charge of arrangements.