Janice Bilden, 71, of Northwood, ND passed away Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at Northwood Deaconess Health Center in Northwood. Funeral services will be held Sunday, February 6, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at Ebenezer Free Lutheran Church in Northwood. A visitation will be held Saturday, February 5, 2022, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service at the church.
Janice Marie Bilden was born in Northwood, ND on March 12, 1950, to Phylles and Oscar Hagen. She attended school in Northwood, graduating in 1968, and earned an elementary education degree from Mayville State College in 1971.
After college graduation she married her high-school sweetheart and love of her life, Gary Bilden, on August 15, 1971. To this union were born three children, Ryan, Amber and Lyndsay.
Countless memories of raising children and pets while teaching and running to sports and music all went seamlessly with Jani in charge. Then came graduations, weddings, and 7 perfect grandchildren.
Janice’s teaching career spanned four decades, beginning in Clilfford, ND right out of college and then moving home to Northwood where she spent the remainder of her career. Her classroom walls were adorned with small quilts and artwork created by her students. After the Northwood tornado destroyed the school and pushed all classes into FEMA temporary classrooms in Hatton, Jani decided to retire and spend quality time with her family. We are so grateful she got to meet and spend time with all 7 of her precious grandchildren who call her Granny Jani. When not in Northwood, Jani and Gary spent many fun summers with family at Devils Lake in pursuit of walleye.
Jani finished her 20-year battle with cancer victorious the morning of Wednesday, February 2nd when Jesus took her home. She fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. That strong faith sustained her through all the surgeries, biopsies, stem-cell transplants, and procedures over the years with no word of complaint. She was tough like her mom and often said “cancer is tough work.” Her motto was “it is what it is,” and though she fought her own battle, she spent her housebound days sending cards of encouragement to other cancer patients and doing her part to fight back against the disease that affects so many by participating in the relay for life and launching an annual holiday house tour in the Northwood area, the proceeds of which benefit cancer research. Most recently she purchased “He Can Heal Cancer” tee shirts for all of her nurses in Fargo.
She is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Gary Bilden, son Ryan (Sara) Bilden, daughters Amber (Chris) Howson, and Lyndsay Violanti; grandsons Kade Bilden and Sawyer Howson, and granddaughters Amara and Haven Howson, Chloe and Olivia Bilden, and Gianna Violanti, as well as her brother Gerald (Fran) Hagen and one spoiled dog named Snickers. She was preceded in death by her parents Oscar and Phylles Hagen, an infant sister, in-laws Art and Marge Bilden, and nieces Kursten Kay and Allison Bilden.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.