Paula Irene Jamtgaard 1945 - 2021

Paula Irene Jamtgaard died peacefully on November 27, 2021, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living with family by her side. She loved her family and friends fiercely. She also loved the Iowa Hawkeyes, every dog she ever met, playing darts, Diet Coke, a cold beer, and BBQ chips. Paula was small in stature but was a force of nature when passionate about something or when provoked.  She will be remembered for her loving heart, her welcoming demeaner, and her open arms ready to give hugs to whoever needed one.  Paula was always willing to listen and encouraged others to follow their dreams and their hearts.  Alzheimer’s dimmed her light but never crushed her spirit. 

Paula was born in Hawarden, IA in 1945 to Edmund and Marie Burton and graduated from Hawarden High School in 1963. She met her husband, Dennis Jamtgaard, in the baby nursery of the Hawarden hospital on the day they were born. He was born just 3 hours before her. Paula’s mother often told a story about the day they were born. Dennis’ father stopped in her room at the hospital and commented, “Wouldn’t it be something if these two got married someday?!” 

Paula married the love of her life on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1965, in Hawarden. They lived in several different communities in Iowa and South Dakota throughout their married lives. Paula worked most of her life as a receptionist and billing specialist at various doctor offices. They retired in 2000 and split their time between Grand Rapids, MN and Sierra Vista, AZ. 

Paula is survived by her husband of 56 years, Dennis Jamtgaard; her sons, Jay (Kim) Jamtgaard from Grand Rapids, MN and Ben (Meg) Jamtgaard from Littleton, CO; daughter, Kellie (Rob) Riley from Ada, MI; and her seven beautiful grandchildren who she loved watching grow up, Brynn Riley, Rhys Riley, Haley Jamtgaard, Lucas Jamtgaard, Jada Jamtgaard, Karlee Jamtgaard, and Kate Jamtgaard. She is also survived by her brother Tom (Lois) Burton from Mesa, AZ and many nieces and nephews.  

Paula received wonderful care from both Diamond Willow and Essentia Hospice.   

There will not be a funeral service held at this time.  Paula’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either Essentia Hospice or Eldercircle of Grand Rapids in her memory. Her family appreciates all the messages of love and support that they have received.  

Arrangements are with the Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit

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