Scott JanssenHometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Scott Janssen, the “Mushing Mortician,” 55, was born and raised in Crookston, Minnesota. He married his high school sweetheart, Debbie, in 1980. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1985 with a B.S. degree with a major in Mortuary Science. Scott and Debbie moved to Alaska in June of that year for Scott to work as a funeral director at Evergreen Memorial Chapel. He has been a mortician and funeral home owner for the last 29 years. They now, along with their friend, Jordan Eastman, own five funeral homes in Anchorage, Eagle River and Wasilla, including, Evergreen, as well as Alaska Cremation Center and Eagle River Funeral Home under the name of Janssen Funeral Homes. Scott has been a friend and sponsor of Paul Gebhardt for 15 years and began mushing in 2007. He says, “Paul got me hooked!” He finished the Iditarod in 2011 with a team of Gebhardt dogs and in 2012, he had a blend of his own dogs and dogs from 1984 champion, Dean Osmar. His 2012 race went national when the story of the mouth to snout resuscitation of his dog, Marshall, was on Diane Sawyer’s World News Tonight, during the 2012 Race. Marshall fully recovered and is retired, living in the house with “full benefits” befitting an Iditarod veteran. He says “Iditarod has been his dream since 1986.” He and his wife of thirty years, Debbie, are the parents of two adult daughters, Angela and Chelsea. Their godson, Jaikob Stahnke, 10, is like a son to them, and they are proud grandparents of infant, Avalyn. Scott is a member of National Funeral Directors Association, Alaska Funeral Directors Association, Arch Diocese of Anchorage, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Harley Owners Group and the Iditarod Official Finishers Club. He says he enjoys anything outdoors, including landscaping, hiking, hunting, fishing, ridin’ Harleys, and skiing on both water and snow.