Cover photo for Janell Birch's Obituary
Janell Birch Profile Photo
1956 Janell 2022

Janell Birch

February 23, 1956 — February 4, 2022

Janell Birch, 65, of Fergus Falls, died Friday, February 4, 2022, at her residence.

Janell Faye Benjamin was born February 23, 1956 to Hugh and Eunice (Runke) Benjamin in Litchfield, MN. She graduated from Litchfield High School in 1974. She furthered her education at St. Cloud State University, earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech and Language Pathology graduating in 1978.

On May 28, 1978, Janell married Gary Birch in Litchfield.

Janell worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist for her entire career. She worked with students from preschool to high school. Early in her career Janell served school districts in Eden Valley/Watkins, New London/Spicer, Big Stone City, SD, Ortonville, and Bellingham. After 1993, Janell’s career brought her to Battle Lake, Fergus Falls, and Underwood school districts. She loved working with her students, seeing them around town, and maintaining connections with them.

Growing up Janell was very active in 4-H. She enjoyed showing cattle, horseback riding, baking, and gardening. She was a 4-H ambassador and was named Meeker County 4-H’er of the Year in 1975. As an adult Janell was very active in her church (Life Church) and Christian Women’s Club.

Socializing, talking and spending time with people was Janell’s favorite activity. Janell would spend this time reading and playing with her grandchildren, attending bible studies and women’s groups with friends from church, she enjoyed baking and bringing her treats to neighbors, and making frequent visits to catch up with friends and family. Music was also a very important part of Janell’s life. Her home was always filled with music. Janell enjoyed listening to her husband, Gary, sing and play his guitar and going to see her son, Aaron, playing in his band. She also loved to attend concerts and sing during worship. She also enjoyed the lake.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Eunice and Hugh Benjamin; brother, Harley Benjamin, and grandson, Aksel Birch.

Janell is survived by her husband, Gary Birch of Fergus Falls; children, Gretchen Brown (Matt Hilde) of Fergus Falls, Jeremy (Kaarin) Birch of Coon Rapids, and Aaron (Stacy) Birch of West Fargo; grandchildren, Jacob Upthegrove, Dylan Upthegrove, Brooklyn Brown, Maci Hilde, Odin, Rory, and Atlas Birch, and Bryson, Paisley, and Thayne Birch; siblings, Hillary (Ellie) Benjamin, Noreen (Marv) Noyes, and Kerry (Beth) Benjamin.

Service: 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 12, 2022, at Life Church in Fergus Falls. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the the church.
Clergy: Reverend Greg Permann
Interment: Oak Grove Cemetery, Fergus Falls, MN

Arrangements are provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 12, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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