September 30, 1933 - September 10, 2020
Janice Niclai went home to Heaven on September 10, 2020 due to complications from recent surgery. She elected to come home for End of Life Hospice care. Surrounded by family members and beautiful music, she passed peacefully from this life to her eternal home. She was 86 years old.
Janice Jean Sundeen was born September 30, 1933 in Brocket, North Dakota, to Oluf and Eva Sundeen. She grew up in Lakota, North Dakota, one of four very accomplished, and highly educated children. When Janice entered the University of North Dakota, she met and married the love of her life, Richard (Dick/Nick) Niclai, in June of 1957. They were married almost 40 years until Nick’s premature death after a three-year battle with brain cancer in 1996. After selling her family home in Sunnybrae, Jan spent her last two years in Timber Ridge McKinleyville where she continued to bring lightheartedness, fun and the joy of the Lord to all those around her.
Faith, family, teaching, and sharing her gift of music were Jan’s passions in life. Hard work, humor, and a commitment to excellence were evident in all she did. Jan found deep purpose and fulfillment in all areas of her life: wife, mother, grandmother, choir director, and teacher… of piano, swimming, kindergarten…whatever.
Jan spent many years as an elementary school teacher at Peninsula Union Elementary School in Samoa, where her love of students and community were highlighted by weekly field trips, kazoo marching bands, and extravagant holiday musical programs. In addition, Jan’s personal life included involvement in AAUW, Kitchenaires (the senior citizen music group), and regularly enjoyed playing Bridge and Cribbage…Jan was always ready to take you on in one of the many Niclai family Cribbage tournaments.
Most important to Janice was her deep and abiding love for her Lord, Jesus Christ, demonstrated over many years of service to her local church as a Sunday school teacher, choir director, pianist/organist, as well as serving on numerous committees and service/missionary organizations. Her unshakable belief in the divinity of each person was constantly expressed in her unwavering selflessness and a willingness to help everyone at any time. Jan had an ever-growing prayer list written on numerous Snoopy/Peanuts stationery, with comments of praise written next to names for answered prayers and/or updates going back months and even years for prayers yet unanswered. If you knew Jan, you were on one of those lists and her faithfulness in Bible study and prayer was unwavering. Just as Jesus was her role model of grace and service to humanity, Jan was the same role model of service to others in every sense of the word.
Janice is survived by her brother Ole Sundeen, her four children and their spouses: Julie and David Bills, Andrea and Marty Ullsmith, Holly and Ross Theuerkauf, Matthew and Lisa Niclai; her numerous grandchildren: Becca & Tani Bills; Jeremy, Nick & Stephanie Mullen; Michelle Laurendeau-Barnes, Kyle Theuerkauf, Amanda Niclai-Eld & Natasha Niclai; Kai & Bayu Amir; plus six great-grandchildren: Mason Thompson, Cameron & Aubrey Mullen, Emma & Lincoln Barnes, Peyton Ford, and Maya Mullen. She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Heather Shaner.
A private family graveside burial will be held this upcoming week. Service arrangements for an upcoming celebration of life are under consideration at this time, to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Jan’s life with a memorial donation to either Hospice of Humboldt or the Lutheran Church of Arcata.
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