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Jennifer Waln

Jennifer Michelle (Thomas) Waln, 28, of Hibbing, Minn., died unexpectedly Feb. 8, 2013, in the Fairview University Medical Center - Mesabi.

Jennifer was born Feb. 21, 1984, in Grand Rapids, Minn., to Norman Thomas and Cathleen Dyer. She grew up in Grand Rapids and Hibbing, and later moved to Wadena.

She married John Waln on Feb. 14, 2009, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena.

Jen had a passion for art and helping people. She was a Crohn's disease awareness advocate, and was also named administrator for the Crohn's Disease Forum.

Jen was a Leader in the Positive Pal Mentoring Program, and was honored as a United Way Youth Hero of the Year for her volunteer work. Through her passion for volunteering, she was "so much to so many."

Jen was an artist. She put her skills to use through design, creativity and a love for art.

Jennifer is survived by her husband, John of Hibbing (formerly of Wadena); mother, Cathy Dyer of Hibbing; brothers, Jeremy Thomas of Bemidji and Allairck Thomas, of Grand Rapids; sisters, Jamie Thomas (Eric Augustin) of Hibbing, Chauntae Polensky of Mound, Minn., and Margaret Thomas of Grand Rapids; grandmother, Margaret (Figgins) Thomas of Grand Rapids; aunts and uncles, Tia (Paul) Wirtanen of Grand Rapids, Krickett Thomas-Robbins of Grand Rapids, Bonney Dyer of Plymouth, Mass., and Rickey Dyer of Faribault, Minn.; nieces and nephew, Ariyah and Zoe Thomas of Bemidji and Kadin Augustin of Hibbing; mother and father-in-law, Myron "Butch" and Gloriann Waln of Wadena; sisters and brothers-in-law, Brenda and Tom Hahn of Sebeka, Bobbi and Dan Richards of Staples, and Keith and Tammy Waln of Wadena; as well as many other extended family and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Norman "Bill" Thomas; grandparents, George Dyer, Norman Thomas and Mary Lou Dyer; uncle, Jay Willis; and two children in infancy.

A gathering time for family and friends will be held Feb. 15, 2013, in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grand Rapids from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m.

Memorial Mass. Reverend Fathers Jerome Weiss and Gabriel Waweru will concelebrate the Mass.

Memorials are preferred in place of floral arrangements.

Family services were provided by Anderson-Daniels, a Bauman Family Funeral Home in Hibbing. To share condolences online, visit

A Road Home

I painted myself a road to home,

Over paths of dirt, rock, and stone

I did not leave you all behind

I'll leave you treasures of love to find

It may be a picture, a memory, or thought

It may come from a gift in which I bought

Now this road to home in which I brush

Will calm your pain and ease the crush

I will be guiding you from up above

Good-bye for now with all my love!

By: John Waln