October 18, 1921 – Monday, August 22, 2016
Janet Irene Maehling Hinderager, 94, passed away peacefully with family at English Rose Suites (Braemar Hills Residence) in Edina, MN on August 22, 2016. She was born in Montrose, MN to Leo and Anna (Robertson) Maehling on October 18th, 1921. Janet’s childhood was spent on a dairy farm west of Buffalo, MN where she helped with the farm, gardened, rode horses and was a member of the “Wide-A-Wake” 4-H Club. Janet graduated from Buffalo High School in 1939 and continued on to business school in Minneapolis.
She married Morris “Morrie” Hinderager on June 3, 1944 and lived in Minneapolis, Green Bay, WI, Fort Dodge and Spencer, IA, where Morrie worked for Cargill. After being married for only three years, Morrie died from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on October 22, 1947, after which Janet spent several years in the tourism/hospitality business. She worked seasonally in Glacier National Park, as a clerk at the Greenbrier Hotel in VA and the famous Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL, where she was executive secretary to the hotel manager. In 1953 Janet decided to take a summer job at the Palm Beach County Court House in the criminal courts division to tide her over to the next season. Thirty-five + years later she retired in 1989 after growing her office of seven employees to over 300+ employees. Janet held many management roles including deputy and clerk of the criminal courts. She was a pioneer, bringing the office into the newest technological age with an automated telephone answering system and computerized filing systems. She also was instrumental in eliminating the municipal courts and incorporating their cases into the criminal courts division. Janet had advanced from a clerical position all the way to director of the criminal division; her name became well-known around the courthouse in the process. She also was known for her witty sense of humor and was loved by her staff. For many years the Palm Beach Bulletin newspaper would publish an article every April 2nd to share the shenanigans and elaborate practical jokes that her staff would pull on her for “April Fool’s Day”. One year her office and car were filled to the brim with balloons. Another year an entire high school marching band greeted her at work. Christmas appeared in April when her staff overly-decorated her office in anything and everything Christmas-related. Another year her staff moved all of her office furniture out of her office and moved in several tables and chairs, vending machines, coffee pots and other kitchen accoutrements, turning her office into the employee “break room”. She was loved and respected by her staff, the attorneys and the judges she worked with.
Outside of her career, Janet was active in volunteerism, including at Immanuel United Presbyterian Church, The American Cancer Society and The Soroptimist Club. In the 50 years she resided in West Palm Beach, Janet had a rich life filled with great friends and neighbors. She loved shopping and enjoyed dressing to the nines. She was equally at home wearing a designer suit as she was wearing a pair of bermudas. She loved to travel the world, which she did until she was 83, when she traveled to China and walked part of the Great Wall. She always made time to visit her family in Minnesota every summer and often hosted them during the rest of the year! Her final years were spent in Minnesota in a small residential care home specializing in memory care. She enjoyed being closer to her family in Minnesota and, even in her final days, she had her wonderful smile, great sense of humor and terrific manners.
Janet is preceded in death by her husband, Morrie Hinderager; parents; sister Jean Maehling Kobbe; and brother Bob Maehling. She is survived by 5 nieces and 1 nephew: Judy Maehling Klatt, Mary Kobbe DesMarais, Suzan Kobbe, Linda Maehling Zimmerman, Kevin Maehling, and Penne Kobbe Holt, plus many great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.
Janet had a fun-loving, adventurous spirit and was a thoughtful, caring, compassionate woman who will be so missed. We know she is in a better place, smiling at all of us! A private family memorial and graveside service will be held in October.