Janelle Peterson, born Feb. 15, 1991 passed away Feb. 27, 2019 after a very brave battle with cancer. Janelle will always be alive in our hearts. Beloved daughter of Bruce and Nancy Peterson. Preceded in death by her father, Bruce. Janelle is survived by her mother, Nancy; aunts, uncles, cousins, other family and friends. Forest Lake graduating class of 2009. She loved hiking and being outdoors, scary movies and anime, trips to the North Shore and Lake Vermilion, and hanging out with family, friends and her beloved cat Skylar. Her bright smile, big heart and caring spirit will be missed by all who knew her. Janelle will never be forgotten and will always and forever be loved. A Celebration of her Life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, October 26, 2019, with visitation one hour prior at Roberts Family Life Celebration Home, Forest Lake. Special thanks to Allina Hospice & Palliative Care.

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Holly Russell

You were my best friend.

I remember the first time we met - it was our first day at Southwest Junior High School in Mr. Underkoffler's chalky, artsy classroom. I walked in - shy, fluffy and awkward as all heck - and you offered the seat next to you with your warm smile (you have THE best smile girl!). We sat next to each other every morning. We would share with one another our newest doodle, photo, or sticker addition to our daily planners, gossip about our crushes, talk about your cats!!!, and chat about our favorite lip glosses and Bath n' Body lotions. Oh yes, and we would giggle in horror when Mr. U would literally chew up chalk and spit it on the chalkboard over his hand and call it "art". Janelley-Belly (I know you hated that nickname), you had GREAT fashion sense and by example, showed me that there were other style options besides wearing animal-themed USA t-shirts year-round (I am forever thankful for that!). You had my back when I started having my FIRST periods DURING 7th grade CO-ED swim class (TMI). You embraced my love for animals, even when I would literally let Mr. Kne's class rats burrow into my hair before homeroom. You didn't think I was weird for not eating meat. You were my rock. You accepted me.

Above all, you were so kind and loving. You befriended anyone. ANYONE. You made everyone feel special because you truly cared. That was one of your best qualities.

In high school, we discovered our punk/goth phase. I dyed my blonde hair a deep brunette and so did you (it looked waaay better on you!). During summer vacay, I remember roaming FL(ake) beach at all hours of the night with all our teen angst, rockband t-shirts, black eye-liner, and Converse (I still remember the pair you decorated for me; they were the stuff). You were an amazing artist. We may or may not have expressed our artistic desires in permanent marker on a certain pavilion on a certain beach (turns out permanent marker isn't so permanent in outdoor MN). And do you remember the humid summer nights we would stop at that one Holiday, grab slushies, and then go to Walmart just because it was the only thing besides Perkins that was open 24 hours a day? And our sleepovers!! We would stay up until literally 4am chattering about boy drama, music, movies, fun makeup (you were a true makeup artist!), and mess around with the Ouija board (you swear you didn't make it move).

Those were great times - but we also had hard times too. You had my back when I was bullied. I tried to be there when you were going through heartbreak, some really down times, and things only you and a few others know. You were so beautiful but never thought so. You were there for me when my beloved German Shepard, Stina, died suddenly. I was there for you when your dad died.

Girl, there is no one else with whom I would rather have went through those rollercoaster teenage years.

My biggest regret in life is that I didn't hold onto our friendship harder. We drifted apart during our busy college years. I feel it was a lot my fault. I always thought we would reconnect again. I had no idea you were ill and I wish I could have been there for you. I wish you could have met my little family. You would have loved Ty and Lurch, and they would have loved you!  A beautiful bracelet you gifted me still sits on my car keys, glimmering with cherished memories.

My sweet Janelle, you never stopped being my best friend and I will forever feel your absence. May you rest in peace.

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