Janet Luvern (Hammerquist) MacKrell
Janet Luvern (Hammerquist) MacKrell passed away on November 30th, 2021 in Klamath Falls, Oregon at her home with her husband of 61 years by her side.
Janet was born to Charles and Grace Hammerquist in Rapid City, South Dakota on September 1st, 1939. She was the 4th of 8 children and was raised on the family ranch near Caputa, South Dakota. The family endured a house fire, numerous blizzards, and meal times together. There was always laughter and love in the house. The girls became expert piano players; whoever got to the piano first after a meal didn’t have do the dishes. Janet enjoyed her sisters but was known to climb trees with brothers Jerry and Buz.
She graduated from Rapid City High School in 1957. She attended Black Hills Teacher’s College in Spearfish, South Dakota where she met her husband Robert “Mac” MacKrell, a Vale, South Dakota boy in 1957. In 1959 she was awarded her two year teaching certificate and taught one year in Rapid City. Janet and Mac were married in August 1960 and moved to Newcastle, Wyoming, where she taught first grade for two years until they moved to Corvallis, Oregon. She attended Oregon State University while Mac worked on his master’s degree at the University of Oregon. The couple had the first of their three children in 1963 and Janet received her bachelor’s degree a year later in 1964.
The family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1964 when Mac took a teaching job at Klamath Union High School. Janet was a substitute teacher while her children were young. She taught third grade full time at Ferguson Elementary School from 1973 to 1994.
She was active in the Oregon Education Association, the League of Women Voters and the Klamath County Democratic Party. She believed that democracy was not a spectator sport. In fact, she represented the Oregon League of Women Voters in front of a Congressional Committee in Washington D.C. in opposition to the Salt Caves Dam Proposal in 1990.
Janet and Mac enjoyed traveling, especially trips to South Dakota and Iowa. In 1998, the two travelled to Norway, Sweden and Finland. She enjoyed genealogy and visiting over coffee. She will be remembered for her one-of-a-kind laugh; she was easily amused by a silly joke.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Grace Hammerquist. Survivors include her husband Robert “Mac” MacKrell, her daughters Gwen Halvorsen and Jenny MacKrell (both of Klamath Falls, Oregon), and her son Scott MacKrell (Amy) of Des Moines, Iowa. She is also survived by her 3 sisters: Kathleen Holst, Laura Mae DiSanto (Joe), Karen Eddy (Lance), and her 4 brothers: Carroll “Kayo” Hammerquist, Jerry Hammerquist (Janice), Charles “Buz” Hammerquist (Loretta), and Allen Hammerquist (Billie). She was “Grandma Janet” to Austin, Natalie and RJ Halvorsen, Tate and Nick MacKrell, and Patrick, Courtney and Savannah Rosario.
Her memorial will be June 5, 2022 on the Hammerquist Ranch in Caputa, South Dakota. Please contact Mac if you would like to visit and have a cup of coffee in remembrance of her in Klamath Falls. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or your local hospice.
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