Former Minot woman named Mother of the Year

Jan Schimke of Bismarck, formerly of Minot, will be recognized as North Dakota’s 2014 American Mother of the Year at an honors banquet Saturday in Bismarck.

She also will be recognized at the American Mothers National Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., on April 24-26, where the National Mother of the Year will be announced.

Schimke grew up on a farm near Maddock. Her parents later owned and operated Des Lacs Valley Nursery in Burlington.

She received a two-year standard teaching certificate from Minot State College, now Minot State University, and later earned a four-year degree in elementary education, speech pathology and special education from MSU. She received her master’s degree in special education from the University of Northern Colorado.

She and Jim Koenig were married in 1963 and lived in Minot from 1963 to 1972. They had two children. Schimke taught school and was director of special education for Minot and Ward County.

After her husband’s death, she met and married Arnold Schimke, who had two daughters. They lived and raised their family in Williston and in Minot, where they lived from 1980 to 1986, before moving to Bismarck. Jan Schimke taught school in Bismarck and was named coordinator for special education in the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction in 1991, serving in that capacity for several years before retiring.

She is active with Bismarck Baptist Church, serves with Stonecroft Ministries and is involved in other volunteer work. The Schimkes have worked with the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, a sponsor organization for Schimke as Mother of the Year.

Schimke’s family in the Minot area includes her daughter, Jolene Orluck. Her other children are daughters Tammy Grundstad of Williston, and Joy Person of Rapid City, S.D., and son, the Rev. Jim Koenig, Lake Placid, N.Y. Schimke has 12 grandchildren.