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Hardwick mayor Janyce Baustian dies Tuesday

Lead Summary
Mavis Fodness

Hardwick’s first woman council member and later mayor died Tuesday, Sept. 19, from health complications at the age of 74.
Janyce Baustian was first elected to the Hardwick City Council in 1983 and became mayor four years later.
She returned to the position in 2016 to fill the previous mayor’s unexpired term and was elected to the position last fall.
In a Jan. 14, 2016, interview with the Rock County Star Herald, Baustian saw her return to the council as one of nurturing instead of trailblazing.
“The council, bless their hearts, are a bunch of young people that don’t have much (mayoral) experience,” she said at the time.
Baustian ran for election to continue her guidance of the council with hopes that one of the young members would step into the position after her two-year term ended.
A Hardwick resident for the past 48 years, Baustian retired as a nurse at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Her husband, Howard, died in 1998. The couple has two sons and five grandsons.
“Jan was a dedicated, committed nurse and public servant,” said Tammy Johnson, who has served as Hardwick’s city clerk for more than 30 years.
Johnson talked with Baustian almost daily.
“She was so proud of her nursing career and just as appreciative of Hardwick,” she said. “Jan was a caretaker of people and the city. I am sure we don’t know the extent of everything she cared for.”
Since retaking the city helm almost 18 months ago, Baustian championed a nuisance ordinance to remove blight in the city of less than 200 people and was currently working on repaving the city’s streets.
“I hope to encourage community pride and partnership in cleaning up our city,” Baustian wrote in her candidate’s profile for the 2017 city election. “We may not have a lot of businesses left but we have a fantastic fire department, first responders, campground, and most of all, people who care about each other and our community.”
Funeral arrangements are pending at Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne.

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