“Jungle” Jane Marie Penterman, 44, of Eau Claire, passed away Thursday, June 23, 2016, at her home with her family at her side.

She was born January 18, 1972, in Eau Claire, WI, the daughter of Robert “The Great RP” Penterman and Maxine Wicklund. She graduated from Eau Claire North High School in 1990. She met her life mate, Steve Palomaki, on September 22, 1993.

Jane earned the nickname “Jungle” for her wild, untamed passion for life. She was always the life of the party even when she was by herself. But eventually she decided that there was more to life than being footloose and fancy free. Jane attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the Computer Science department. She graduated in 2003 with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Management Information Systems.

Jane was employed at Idexx Laboratories for over 10 years where she continued to be placed in higher levels of responsibility. Her latest position was Customer Support in Research & Development.

Jane had the proverbial green thumb and enjoyed growing plants both indoor and outdoor. Her love of animals included the many cats she raised. Styx, Stones, and Simon preceded her death. Her baby Suess, Cindy Lou Who, and Paw Stanley are all glad that Jane was their mother.

Jane was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, March 21, 2012. Following a major surgery and many rounds of chemotherapy, Jane entered 2013 cancer free. Before the year was out, cancer had returned. There were many trips back and forth to Rochester, MN, for treatment. Jane’s brother, Richard Peterson, was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma, August, 2015. Jane then decided to continue treatment at the Eau Claire Cancer Center and Jane and Richard often saw each other during their treatment. After Richard succumbed to his illness in February, 2016, Jane slowly became more ill. The many years of fighting and the loss of her best friend and confidante, Richard, began to take its toll.

Jane is survived in life by her sweet baboo, Steve Palomaki, brother, Jeffrey (Diana) Peterson, sister-in-law, Lisa Metza-Peterson, nephew, Jared Peterson, and nieces, Savannah Metza-Peterson and Meg Peterson.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Maxine Peterson, brother, Richard Peterson, and her maternal grandparents, Arne & Clara Wicklund.

A celebration of Jane’s life will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at Smith Funeral Chapel, Eau Claire. Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. followed by a time of sharing to begin at 7 p.m.


  1. Jungle Jane I will always see your smile and hear your amazing laugh!! You touched more people than you know. I am sure you are laughing with every one in heaven. Much love to you! RIP

  2. I met Jane at a pharmacy I worked at. Despite all the health problems she had, her huge, heartwarming, infectious smile always made me feel better!
    What a brave, remarkable woman!!
    My heart goes out to you Steve

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