Janet Marie Sunde, 72, of Vermillion SD passed away at Avera Mckennan Hospital on Sunday, October 22, 2023. Per her request, no public services are planned but private family services will be held at a later date.
Janet was born on February 16, 1951, in Estherville, Iowa to Merlyn “Jack” and Lillian Myers. Her childhood was filled with playing with her siblings and cousins. She loved the outdoors and spent many fun filled days exploring with her cousin and best friend Sue Wellnitz. Her teen years were a time of a few discoveries that would endure for the rest of her life; her hatred for algebra, her passion for literature, and her love of her future husband Richard. Janet married Richard “Dick” Sunde on September 25, 1970, in Estherville, Ia. Richard and Janet would go on to have two sons, Patrick and Paul.
Janet took on many challenges in her life with the through line being her love of helping others. The nursery at Trinity Lutheran Church and the Vermillion Food Pantry both thrived while she volunteered. Janet along with her husband Richard also created a fund which provided Christmas presents and assistance to local families in need. Her kindness wasn’t limited to humans. She also helped fund dog rescues locally and across the country. She personally saved many dogs that would go on to become cherished members of her family. While accomplishing great things through her philanthropy she also worked as a real estate appraiser, toy store co-owner, and office manager for Richard's Insurance office. Her greatest impact however was her day-to-day interactions with people. Janet had an amazing gift of lifting the spirits of everyone she was around. People smiled easier and laughed harder while talking with Janet. She was a person that genuinely wanted the best for everyone and that came through as she listened without judgement and advised without preaching. With these amazing qualities, lifelong relationships blossomed with folks of all walks of life. Undoubtedly Janets greatest love and focus was her family. Her husband, Richard, was blessed with unwavering love and support through all his endeavors. Starting a business, midnight home remodels, and traveling throughout the world, they were partners through it all. When it came to her sons, and their friends, her mothering is the stuff of legend. If you were lucky enough to be in her galaxy you were going to be loved and cared for. That orbit expanded with the wife of Paul, Anita and the partner of Patrick, Jason. Anita and Jason instantly became beloved members of the Sunde clan. In 2001, Jackson was born to Paul and his wife Anita Walsh-Sunde. This event transformed Janet into perhaps her greatest role, "The Oma-nator". Another grandson, Macallister, followed in 2007. These two boys would experience the concentrated pure love, joy and magic that could only come from "The Oma". Oma and Opa took the boys on countless adventures from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the wilderness of Northern Minnesota, and the beaches of the Gulf Coast that delighted and entertained all involved.
Janet is lovingly survived by her husband, Richard, their children; Patrick Sunde (Jason Selenske) Eagan, MN, Paul Sunde (Anita Walsh-Sunde) Vermillion, SD; her grandchildren, Jackson Sunde (Trinity Sunde) Vermillion, SD; Macallister Sunde Vermillion, SD; siblings: Sharon (Richard) Kelly of Mason City, IA; Sandy (J.C.) Dawald of Northwood, IA; John (Yvonne) Myers of Muskogee, OK; Mary Myers of Wagoner, OK; Jim (Heidi) Myers Sioux Falls, SD and many special nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her parents Merlyn and Lillian Myers, her in-laws Donald and Ruth Sunde, her brother Joseph Myers.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests donations to the animal rescue organization of your choice. We also ask that you take a moment to hug your child, grandchild, friend. Walk in the woods for a moment, an hour or a day. Observe the beauty of the sunset, gaze at the moon and stars, plant a flower. These are the things Janet held sacred and she would be most honored to have you carry forward.