Janice Margaret Steele Schuelke, age 63 years, proud mother, sister, friend, community volunteer, hiker, and organizer died unexpectedly Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020 at her home, of natural causes.
She was born on July 30, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan to John E. and Joanna J. (Lilly) Steele and graduated from Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, a Catholic college prep school for women. She continued her education at Ferris State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She was employed as a project manager at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana and its successor, Beacon Health Systems. She has lived in Niles since 1998.
Janice was a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles and of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. She was a former member of the Niles Service League with whom she volunteered at Meals on Wheels. She also volunteered regularly at the Ronald McDonald House at Beacon Heath Systems, and volunteered at the University of Notre Dame as an usher in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. As a dedicated mother, she volunteered at the PTA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Booster Club, Project Graduation, and among others.
Janice enjoyed hiking on trails in Michigan, Indiana, throughout the United States, and internationally. She was passionate about spending time with her family at their log cabin near Kaleva, Michigan. Her favorite tradition was gathering with family and friends at the Friday night chat and cocktail.
On October 10, 1981 she married Robert Schuelke. She lived her life with kindness, grace, and beauty. Janice loved her family deeply and would always say to Bob, “Our walk in life is different, but I’m glad you’re by my side!”.
Surviving family includes their children, Erica Lynn Schuelke of Springfield, Virginia, Robert Edwin (& Erica Christine Turnlund) Schuelke of Walnut Creek, California, and Kathleen Margaret (& Dennis Alan, USAF, Ret.) Witte of Columbia City, Indiana; Janice’s siblings, Jay (& Linda) Steele of Fort Myers, Florida, Judy Steele of Macomb Township, Michigan, Grassflower of South Haven, Michigan, Barb (& Don) Phillips of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and Joyce (& Bill) Hytinen of Macomb Township; many nieces and nephews; and two “grand-furbabies” Ivy and Sunny.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Joanna Steele.
Family and relatives of Janice Schuelke gathered privately on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles with prayers offered by the Rev. Christian Johnston of Saint Mary Catholic Parish. Those who prefer to witness the gathering via the livestreamed broadcast may do so on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/. A Celebration of Janice’s Life will be held on her birthday July 30th, 2021 at the Big Bear Sportsman’s Club in Kaleva, followed by a memorial float on the Big Manistee River.
Contributions in memory of Janice may be made to the Niles-Buchanan YMCA Scholarship Fund, 905 North Front Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120; https://www.ymcagm.org/locations/niles-buchanan-ymca; or to the Ronald McDonald House Charities Michiana, 610 North Michigan Street, Suite 310, South Bend, Indiana, 46601, https://rmhcmichiana.org/.
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905 North Front Street, Niles MI 49120
Ronald McDonald House Charities Michiana
610 North Michigan Street, Suite 310, South Bend IN 46601