Everybody needs an Aunt Jan. One who is the sweetest, kindest, most generous, loving, giving; the best at hiding the spoils of the retail therapy purchased for her nieces and nephews from her brothers and sisters. Janice MacDonald Paulsen passed away suddenly on March 2, 2019. She is the daughter of John and Jane MacDonald. Jan had a bubbly, kind, helpful and selfless personality. She worked happily on others’ projects whether that included gardening, cleaning, sewing, transporting and caring for children or picking up after her little brother and sisters. Jan was born to be a caregiver.
Jan graduated from nursing school in Missoula in the 1970s. She started work at Deaconess Hospital in 1977 and worked there for 40 years! Jan dedicated herself to her work and excelled in each field in which she cared for patients. She studied to become a certified post anesthesia recovery nurse and held many other specialty nursing certifications. Jan showed her leadership and ability to articulate and bring groups together while she served as President of the Nurses Union at Deaconess Hospital.
In 1979, she married her sweetheart, James “Jim” Paulsen. She loved Jims’ girls Tammy and Tracy. She enjoyed watching them grow and spending time with them. Jim passed away in 2018. Jan took meticulous care of Jim during his battle with dementia. Jim and Jan liked the outdoors. They were always on a camping, fishing, hiking, biking, running or walking adventure.
Jim and Jan had a great group of workout friends at the YMCA where they worked out frequently and for many years. They only stopped going when their joints would no longer permit working out so heavily.
The Chico Chicas are a group of girls that have been friends since high school. Jan loved these ladies and enjoyed going with them on their annual weekend retreat. She enjoyed their group texts and staying in touch.
Sewing was definitely her gift. She was a brilliant seamstress and enjoyed all the sewing projects she did for her nieces and nephews. She made dresses for the girls when they were little, she made Operating Room hats for neice Solveig, they were the envy of the OR at St. Vincent. She repaired pants, zippers and hemmed every item perfectly.
Jan enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels and had beautiful gardens. The favorites from her garden were always her raspberries. They were big, juicy and sweet. It seemed Jan had the best raspberries on the planet. She grew the biggest most beautiful zinnias you’ve ever seen!
One of Jan’s best traits was her ability to listen without judgment. She never complained. Even while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She worked during this time as well. She and her sister Joan called themselves “chemo sisters” and received their treatments at the same time. They fed off each other’s strengths.
Volunteering at the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter was a passion for Jan. She enjoyed helping to care for the cats. She shared stories of sick cats receiving care and being saved by the talented staff. She enjoyed her fellowship with the people who work there.
Jan is preceded in death by her husband James “Jim” Paulsen, her parents John and Jane MacDonald, her brother James “Jim” MacDonald, sister Joan MacDonald Forseth and brother-in-law Dick Paulsen.
She is survived by her sister-in-law Linda MacDonald (Steve) Jackson and children Lisa (Bob) Gregg, Nicole (Nick) DeWaters; brother-in-law Eric Forseth and children Thormod (Trier) Forseth and Solveig (Heath) Heigis; brother John (Christie) MacDonald and children Jessyka and John Answer Me (this is not a typo) (Kim); sister Jodee (John) Etchart and children Joseph and Jacqueline; Jim Paulsen’s daughters Tammy (Mark) Going and children Bella and Logan; Tracy (Derick) Callan and children Cooper and Walker; brother-in-law Don (Margie)Paulsen and son Steve; and sister-in-law Sandy Paulsen and sons Brad and Sean.
Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 AM Friday March 15, 2019 at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
In Lieu of gifts please make donations to Billings Christian School education foundation at BCSEF.org