Longtime Lake St. Croix Beach leader Jansen dies


Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Todd Streeter credits John Jansen for sparking Streeter’s interest in Lake St. Croix Beach city government.

“It was John who asked me to serve on a task force six months after I moved there that started me in my interest in city government,” Streeter said Tuesday.

Streeter later served a term as Lake St. Croix Beach mayor when Jansen was a city councilman.

The 79-year-old Jansen, who was Lake St. Croix Beach mayor for 14 years and was the first full-time Washington County Attorney, died July 19 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul after a long illness.

“He was deeply committed to our community. He served three terms as mayor and a total of 30 years of public service to our community,” Streeter said.

Streeter said Jansen worked on numerous city improvement projects during his years on the Lake St. Croix Beach council, including erosion protection for the city’s St. Croix River bluffs.

“He was pretty instrumental in getting that protection,” Streeter said. “He did a lot of city improvements over the years.”

In a Stillwater Gazette candidate questionnaire 11 years ago, Jansen cited flood and erosion control of those bluffs as a major issue facing the city at that time.

Jansen was born Dec. 7, 1933. He attended St. Thomas Academy, the College of St. Thomas and William Mitchell College of Law. After earning his law degree, Jansen worked in private practice before he became Washington’s County’s first full-time county attorney in the mid-1970s. He spent seven years in that post before spending 20 years as a state worker’s compensation judge.

Jansen also was a U.S. Army veteran, starting as a Junior ROTC private and retiring from the Army Reserves 32 years later as a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 4077 Civil Affairs Unit.

Along with serving on the Lake St. Croix Beach City Council, Jansen was a volunteer with the St. Croix River Association and member of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Lake St. Croix Beach, where he volunteered as an usher, lector, chairman of the church School of Religion and Parish Council secretary.

Jansen is survived by his wife, Katy Cartoney Jansen; son, Dan and daughter-in-law, Christa; grandchildren, Ashley, Ryan, Brittney and Josh; sisters, Rachael Jansen Schwendig (Walter), and Helen Jansen Talle (Mrs. C.A.); nieces, Barbara, Deborah, Teresa (Paul), and Trude, and great-nieces and -nephews, Kris, Joe, Mar and Amber.
He is preceded in death by his parents, J.E. Jansen, Sr. and Rachael Keating Jansen, and his first wife, Alice Kelley Jansen.

Funeral services were Tuesday morning at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, and interment with military honors was at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Arrangements were with O’Connell Family Funeral Homes in Hudson, Wis..

Contact Erik Sandin at [email protected]