Sister Janet Kunkel

July 30, 1931 ~ March 21, 2018 (age 86)
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Little Falls, Minnesota............Sister Janet Kunkel, 86, died on March 21, 2018, at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls, Minn.

Janet was born on July 30, 1931, to Louis and Teresa (Springer) Kunkel in Melrose, Minn. She was the oldest of four children and had one brother and two sisters. She attended St. Boniface School in Melrose and St. Francis High School in Little Falls. 

A tragedy that affected her profoundly was the death by drowning of her younger sister, Patricia, at the age of ten.

After graduation in 1949, she was accepted as a Franciscan Sister and given the name, Sister Mary Paulette. She was a Franciscan Sister for 68 years. 

Sister Janet earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn.; and a master of arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She also studied at Boston College, Boston, Mass., and at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

She taught first and second grades and was an excellent primary teacher. She taught in Flensburg, Morris, Fergus Falls and Little Falls, Minn., where she was also principal. She also served as organist and director of liturgical music as well as giving organ lessons in various parishes. In addition to the above ministries, Sister Janet taught remedial reading in Lexington, Miss., and in Tucson, Ariz.

Sister Janet was very involved in religious education in Marona, Tucson and Vail, Ariz. She was very active in the RCIA program at St. Cyril’s Parish in Tucson and, more than once, was a sponsor for a participant.

Janet will be remembered for her love of nature and especially for her knowledge of bees and beekeeping which she learned from her father who was a beekeeper. 

Throughout her life she grew in her love and appreciation for the traditions of her Franciscan vocation.

Sister Janet was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Patricia, Gerald and Jean Kunkel Mentzer. Survivors include nephews and her Franciscan Community.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Francis Convent on Wednesday, April 4, at 11 a.m.  Friends may call at St. Francis Convent on Tuesday, April 3, from 4-8 p.m. with a Franciscan prayer service at 7 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Arrangements are by Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service, Little Falls.

Donations to Franciscan Sisters Ministries preferred.

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