Cover photo for Janet Bares's Obituary
Janet Bares Profile Photo
1926 Janet 2021

Janet Bares

May 31, 1926 — March 4, 2021

Janet R. Bares, age 94, of Merrill, entered into eternal rest on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at Bell Tower Residence in Merrill, while under the care of the Bell Tower staff and Compassus Hospice.  She was born on May 31, 1926 to the late Joseph and Susan (Ries) Ott in Belgium, WI.  Janet attended and graduated from Port Washington High School.  She met Lester John Bares, and the two exchanged marriage vows on April 7, 1945 in Belgium, WI.  They were blessed with 68 years of marriage before his death on May 9, 2013.

Janet enjoyed being a housewife, homemaker and mother to their seven children.  They moved to Merrill from Belgium, WI in 1969, where she was part-owner of Lincoln Lanes in Merrill, along with her husband, Lester and their son, Jim and his wife Jan, until Lester & Janet’s retirement in 1985.  Prior to moving to Merrill, Lester and Janet were part owners of Wayside Dairy along with Lester’s brothers, Ed and Walter. They, along with other relatives, opened the Belgium Community Center in 1964, where she spent a lot of time helping in the kitchen.  Janet and Lester looked forward to spending their winters in Texas, which they were able to do for many years.  Later in life, Janet enjoyed reading and working on puzzles.  She had an unshakable faith in God, and church was extremely important to her - it was a priority in her life.  Janet’s family was also a priority in her life, she cherished her time with them.  She is remembered as a very tidy and organized person.  Janet never liked to be in the spotlight, she was a very quiet and reserved woman.  She was a member at St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill.  Janet will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Janet leaves behind her seven children: James (Jan) of Merrill, WI, Elaine (Thomas) Semrau of Dallas, TX, Lester (Rose Elliott) Jr. of Richmond, VA, Richard (JoAnn) of Oshkosh, WI, Michael (Lila) of Fargo, ND, Patrick (Lisa) of West Bend, WI and Janet (Robert) Starck of Cadott, WI.  She is further survived by 15 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, with 2 on the way, sister: Rita (the late Bernie) Buser and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  She is preceded in death by her parents, husband: Lester and brother: Joe (Alice) Ott Jr, two grandchildren and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law.

A Celebration of Life for Janet will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at Divine Savior Parish - Holy Cross Chapel, Belgium, WI at 4 pm.  A time for visitation will be held on Monday at Eernisse Funeral Home in Belgium, WI from 1 pm until 3:30 pm prior to the service at the church.  Inurnment of Janet’s cremains will take place the following day, Tuesday, March 16 at the Holy Cross Cemetery at 10 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Janet’s name are to be directed to the St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill, WI.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill along with Eernisse Funeral Home in Belgium, WI are assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at or

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


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