Janice Ebersdorfer


Dr. Janice M. Ebersdorfer, 92, of Mitchell, died Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at Firesteel Care Center in Mitchell. 

Mass of Christian Burial was held Wednesday, March 22, 10:30 a.m., at the Holy Family Catholic Church; burial was in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Parkston. Visitation with a Rosary was held on Tuesday, March 21, at Will Funeral Chapel. Family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the scholarships in Jan’s name at the USD foundation.

Dr. Janice Margaret Ebersdorfer was born on July 13, 1930, at the family farm west of Parkston, to John J. and Martha (Nipp) Ebersdorfer.  She graduated from Parkston High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Black Hills State College; her master’s degree in Special Education from Northern State and her Doctor of Education degree from Indiana University, earning majors in administration and early childhood education. While at Indiana University, she was a U.S. Office of Education Doctoral Fellow for three years and completed an administrative internship in Washington D.C.   

Dr. Ebersdorfer began her career teaching in a rural one-room school. Her career had a varied and extensive educational journey, including elementary, secondary and special education teaching, federal project coordinator, consultant, and a university professor at USD for 24 years.   

In 1973, she was appointed by Governor Kneip as the first Deputy Secretary of Department of Education and Cultural Affairs, and later, she joined the state legislative research council as director. She held offices at state and national levels. She was a recipient of numerous honors.

She retired from USD in 1996 and moved to Mitchell in 1998. Dr. Ebersdorfer enjoyed traveling, reading and enjoying time with family. Her life was focused on faith, family, friends and cherished students.

Dr. Ebersdorfer is survived by her nephew, Jeff (Molly) Ebersdorfer of Artesian; and nieces, Connie (Rod) Vermeulen of Mitchell and Jodi (Keith) Theisen of Clear Lake; nephew-in-law, Douglas Wudel; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

She is preceded in death by her brothers, Francis and Donald (Agatha); her parents; and niece, Bonnie Wudel.

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