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Mary Jane DeVaan Cantleberry


Mary Jane DeVaan Cantleberry, 84, Glenwood, MN, died Monday, August 15, 2022, at her home on Lake Scandi under Hospice care. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, August 21, 2022, at the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson. Visitation will continue from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 22, 2022, at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in DeGraff, MN. Interment will be in the St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery in DeGraff. Memorials preferred to Carris Rice Hospice Benson or St. Bridget’s Cemetery Perpetual Fund. Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson is assisting the family with the arrangements. 

Mary Jane (Janie) DeVaan Cantleberry was born on March 9th, 1938 in rural DeGraff, MN to Joseph and Lucille (Kennedy) Rutledge. She was baptized and confirmed at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, MN. She attended country school in rural Murdock and graduated Valedictorian of her class from Murdock High School in 1955. Her childhood friends would describe her as witty, fun, and mischievous growing up.

After High School, Mary Jane attended St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul where she studied nursing. She was united in marriage to the love of her life, John (Jack) DeVaan on October 6, 1956. This union was blessed with eight children. Jack and Janie were married and farmed together North of DeGraff for 50 years until his death on September 15th, 2007. They built a beautiful home on Lake Scandi where many family memories were made.

Janie was a very active member of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in DeGraff serving as Chairperson of the Parish Council, Youth Director and Advisor and many other roles. She received the Bishops Medal of Honor Award for her years of service in the church. Her community service included President and Secretary of the V.F.W Auxiliary, Labor Day committee, 4-H leader, Homemakers Club, and many other activities.

Janie obtained her certificate as a Home Health Aid in 1984 and attended Willmar Community College receiving her certificate in Business Finance in 1990. She worked outside the home as a home health aide, a bookkeeper for Overland Truck Co, and was particularly fond of her work with the girls at the Heartland Girls Ranch.

Janie enjoyed socializing with friends and family and made every Holiday special and festive. She particularly loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and hosted a delicious meal and celebration each year. Janie was a woman of many talents. She decorated two beautiful homes with unique pieces and antiques that she would find at auctions. She loved to garden, make floral arrangements, sew, crochet, quilt, crafts, bake and cook. Her recipes have been passed down to each generation. Her hobbies included softball, bridge, bowling and writing poetry.

Janie was special in so many ways. Her sense of humor was her signature trait. Her strength, grace, and dignity through her own family tragedies made her a role model for all. She was an angel to many as she humbly and quietly supported others with words of encouragement, visits, and letters to those going through death, tragedy, or struggles. Janie had a huge love for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was happy to spend time with each one of them and told endless stories about them as she delighted in each of their unique personalities.

On April 5, 2014, Janie married Paul Cantleberry who she met at church in Glenwood, MN. Paul and Janie shared nine happy years together. In September of 2016, Janie fulfilled her lifelong dream with a trip to Ireland.

Mary Jane (Janie) passed peacefully away on August 15, 2022 at the age of 84 at her Lake Scandi home surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband Paul; her children: Debora (Tom) Berres, Catherine DeVaan, Joseph (Susana) DeVaan, Mary (Bob) Walsh, Edward DeVaan, and Steven (Sandy) DeVaan. 22 Grandchildren; 19 Great-Grandchildren; Nephews and Nieces and her special nephew (little brother) Pat Walsh; Paul’s children: Catherine (Michael) Knapp and Sara (Thomas Housh) Cantleberry.

Janie was preceded in death by her parents; husband Jack; children: James and Sarah; Grandson Cody DeVaan. Siblings: Edward Rutledge, Anne (Jim)Walsh; and Jim (Gertie) Rutledge; several nephews and nieces and Son-In-Law Doug Bjork.

A special Thank you is extended to Father Steve and to the Hospice staff for their wonderful care of our mother.

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