Kathryn Spencer Janssen, age 104 of Coleridge, Nebraska died on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Park View Haven Nursing Home in Coleridge.
Funeral Services will be on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 10:30 am at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Coleridge, Nebraska with Rev. Russ Lambert officiating. Burial will be in the Lawn Ridge Cemetery in Coleridge. Visitation will be on Thursday at the church from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a Prayer Service at 7:00 pm. Visitation will begin at 9:30 am on Friday at the church. A Celebration of Life honoring Kathryn will be held later this year on June 17. The location and time will be announced at a later date.
Pallbearers and Honorary pallbearers will be her grandchildren Vicky Gullicksen, Rod Meier, Brian Meier, Doug Nordby, Denise Naslund, Patti Bretschneider, Terasa Schuller, Ross Janssen, Joel Janssen, Kim Hammer, Scott Anderson, Angela Toelle, Brant Anderson, Holly Penner, Jason Stapelman, Dena Bueltel and Mollie Slaba.
Kathryn was born on July 18, 1912 at Lawton, Oklahoma to Mike and Dena Caroline (Olsen) Markesen. She was baptized on January 12, 1913 in Lawton and later confirmed into the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hartington. Kathryn and her sister were young girls when they lost their father due to an accident that happened while he was volunteering as a fireman. A short time later Dena, along with her two daughters, moved back to Hartington to be closer to family members. Kathryn graduated from Hartington High School in 1931 and was determined to earn a college degree. Each week she took the train back and forth from Hartington to Wayne to attend Wayne State College. In 1933 she graduated with a life-time teaching certificate. Kathryn was a teacher in one-room country schools for several years. The stories Kathryn told of teaching in a one room country school were shared with her kids and passed down through her kids and grandkids. Today, six of her grandkids and several great grandkids are teachers.
On May 27, 1941, Kathryn married Ernest Janssen at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hartington. Ernest was a widower with two young daughters. Ernest and Kathryn made their home on a farm mid-way between Coleridge and Hartington until they moved into Coleridge. Later in life she worked as a Nurse's Aide in the nursing homes in Hartington and Coleridge. Kathryn was a giving person all of her life. She always welcomed people into her home and offered them a cup of coffee and something to eat. She made many friends through the years. Family was important to Kathryn. She was an active member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church and a former member of the Trinity Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday school and played the piano. She had also been a member of the Recreational Club.
Kathryn is survived by five children, Dolores Meier of Coleridge; Carole Nordby of Hartington; Terry and Kathy Janssen of Port Charlotte, Florida; Deanna and Glen Anderson of Coleridge; Deb and Gary Stapelman of Sioux Falls, S.D; 17 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren, 48 great-great grandchildren and her only sister's children; nephews, Larry Rapp, Keith Rapp, Steve Rapp and niece, Kathleen Rapp Ryan.
Proceeding Kathryn in death were her husband, Ernest on March 30, 1991, sister Florence Rapp, two sons-in-law, Jake Meier and Dean Nordby, grandchildren Lori Meier and Cary Nordby, great grandson Mark Leapley and a great-great grandson Braxton Gullicksen.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
Our sympathy to all of Kathryn's family and friends. She was a very special lady.
Janice and David Anderson-Brookes
Kathryn was a special woman. Our prayers to her family & friends.
Janis & William Elliott
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I have enjoyed Kathryn and her family for many years. May the peace that only Jesus brings be with each one of you.
Kathryn was our neighbor for many years, she was our Mother's best friend, we always thought Kathryn, Earn & Families were special neighbors living on the farm Northwest of Coleridge, God Bless. The A. McMann Families
Jim & Kay Kruger, Phx, Az
Kathryn will always be remembered with great fondness. What a full and long life that she has lived. The way she approached life is a lesson to us all. Our condolences to all who had the opportunity to know her.
Keith and Mary Pat Rapp
I remember being invited to Kathryn and Ernest's farm many times. We love her food and we loved playing with her children all over that farm. I also remember her great spirit and her wonderful laugh. She was a great lady.
Ann Levorson Kieffer
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kathryn's family I got to know Kathryn while my mom Sis Brandow Test was a residence for a short time there. Kathryn always had a smile and such a positive outlook on life. I always enjoyed visiting with her, such a sweet lady.
Kathryn was always a very special person and friend to my parents Millie and Ed Specht. They treasured her friendship and fun loving ways. Our sympathy and prayers to her family. God Bless.
Dean and Judy Specht
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