Cover photo for Janice Louise Olach's Obituary
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Janice Louise Olach

April 25, 1942 — May 18, 2023

Ellsworth

Janice Louise Olach

Janice Louise Olach, 81, of Ellsworth, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

“Jan” was born on April 25, 1942, in Saginaw, MI, the daughter of Leonard “Pete” and Helen “Betty” (Shankland) Burns.  Jan graduated from Charlevoix High School in 1960 and attended both Northern Michigan University and Olivet College before marrying Michael Raecke in Charlevoix in 1963.  Jan devoted her early career to working with the mentally disabled community as Director of the Bergmann Center and later graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Elementary Education.  She went on to earn a M.A. in Counseling from Central Michigan University.

Jan was an elementary teacher in the Charlevoix Public School system before serving Army families as a teacher and counselor in Soegel and Berlin, Germany from 1988-1992.  On July 15, 1989, Jan married Vincent “Vince” Olach on Beaver Island, where they lived and she also taught, upon their return from Germany in 1992.  Jan and Vince relocated to Ellsworth in 1994, where she continued her teaching and counseling career until she retired in 2005.

Jan was active in her local community for several years, both before and after retiring.  She served Antrim County in many ways, including on the Housing Commission, on Jury Board, for multiple appointed terms as Chairperson of the Board of Canvassers and as Deputy Clerk for Banks Township. She felt strongly about giving back, as demonstrated by her many years of volunteering at Good Samaritan in Ellsworth and her tireless commitment to the Ellsworth Lioness Club for more than 25 years, where she held leadership positions at both the local and regional levels. Jan continued to help those around her in her later years, as she visited the elderly with one of her beloved Golden Retrievers, Teddy, and was a part of the String Sisters guitar group, which brings the joy of music and singing to assisted living communities in the area. She was also a member of the Antrim County Community Choir, performing twice yearly.

In addition to her grandchildren and her circle of friends, Jan loved to knit…sweaters, hats, scarves, blankets and of course, Christmas stockings!  Countless people benefitted from her hobby over the years, many of them unknown to her as she donated hundreds of hats to the cancer institute at McLaren Hospital in Petoskey since 2010.  She also loved tulips and windmills, marching music and big brass bands, and her dogs, Molly, Teddy and Freddie.

Jan is survived by her daughter, Jill (Raecke) Sanchez of Roseville, CA and three grandsons (Holden, Nicholas and Brody Sanchez); her brother, Leonard Burns of Oconto Falls, WI; stepson David (Trisha) Olach of Charlevoix and their daughters (Madison, Emily, Courtney and Stephanie); and one great-grandson (Eli).  She was preceded in death by her husband, Vince Olach (2010) and her daughter, Karen Raecke (2023).

Cremation has taken place. Friends may join the family for Visitation at Mortensen Funeral Home in Central Lake on Saturday, July 15, 2023 from 10-11am, followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00am. Immediately following the Memorial, a Celebration of Life will be hosted by the family at the Blue Pelican Inn & Restaurant in Central Lake. Please RSVP (voicemail or text) at (916) 765-6284 for the Celebration so we can plan accordingly.  

For those wishing to make memorial contributions, the family suggests The Bergmann Center, www.bergmanncenter.org  in Charlevoix or Good Samaritan Family Services www.thegoodsam.org in Ellsworth.

Arrangements are in the care of the Ellsworth Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janice Louise Olach, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, July 15, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Mortensen Funeral Homes Central Lake Location

2333 S. Main Street, PO Box 488, Central Lake, MI 49622

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 15, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mortensen Funeral Homes Central Lake Location

2333 S. Main Street, PO Box 488, Central Lake, MI 49622

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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