Melva Delois Janssen, 77, of Kingsley, Iowa, passed away April 14, 2017.
Services were held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at Salem Lutheran Church in rural Correctionville, Iowa. Burial was in Kingsley Cemetery.
Melva was born May 19, 1939 in Emerson, Nebraska, the youngest child of Conrad T. Norr and Ruth Margaret Lute Norr. At an early age, she moved with her family to Sioux City, Iowa.
She was raised by her mother and older sisters in the Morningside area, where she received her education. She attended country school for two years. When the school closed, she attended Whittier Grade School and graduated from East High School in 1956.
Following graduation, she was employed at Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. as a long distance operator. She enrolled in the fall class of 1956 at The Methodist Hospital School of Nursing.
On March 14, 1958, she married Richard D. Janssen in St. Luke Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa. They made their home in rural Moville, Iowa until December of 1958. At that time, they moved to a farm south of Kingsley, Iowa, where together they started their farming and livestock operation.
She was an active partner in all aspects of farming, from fieldwork to bookkeeper to whatever needed to be done — all while raising her children until they were old enough to take over the farm work.
She liked sewing dresses for her girls, prom dresses when they were older, and bridesmaid dresses when older yet — along with grandbaby quilts, altering dance costumes, a pink mole project, and patching and replacing zippers on jeans.
She loved being outdoors — whether in her vegetable garden, tending to her extensive flower beds, or just mowing the lawn.
She was a long-time member of The Kingsley Home and Federated Garden Club, where she was the District VIII Secretary-Treasurer for several years.
She was an avid genealogist, and she researched four family lines from 1980 until her death. Her research took her to Sweden in 1992, to meet some of her father’s family and visit his birthplace.
She was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith in 1959 at Salem Lutheran Church in Correctionville, Iowa. She was very proud of the fact that all of her children were baptized and confirmed there, and all but one were married there.
Her greatest joy was her family. Some of her favorite things were being involved and going to all of her children’s and grandchildren’s school sports; church activities; holidays celebrated together, especially the 4th of July; yearly camping trips with her husband and all six kids; neighborhood card clubs (some lasting 40+ years); building lasting lifetime friendships along the way; celebrating 50 years of marriage with her husband and family; traveling with her husband over the years; a little freckle-faced girl named Shari; and a guy named Bob Michaelson.
She says, “Anyone reading my obituary who considers themselves a friend and all my family: I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of you, my life was filled with love and happiness. I had a great time, and I pray that we will meet again.”
Melva is survived by her husband, Richard Janssen; a son, Dean (Mary) Janssen; a son, Jeff (Sue) Janssen; a daughter, Deb (Rob) Shultz; a daughter, Sheryl (Jeff) Collins; a son, Larry Janssen; and a son, Gary (Allison Ricke) Janssen; along with grandchildren Nick Janssen, Ryan Janssen, Jenny Smit, Randy Janssen, Jamie Shultz, Jake Shultz, Zach Shultz, Jake Collins, Ashley Kuchel, Keely Collins, Landie Willer, Danika Wolleson, and Dillon Janssen; and eleven great-grandchildren.
Those preceding her in death are her parents, Conrad and Ruth Norr, four sisters: Bernice Boyer and her husband Vern, Inis Crawford and her husband Gene, Mae Morgan and her husband Glenn, and Leona Kay and her husband Dick; her brother, Marvin Lute; her nephews: Randy Boyer, Bill Kay, and John Crawford; and her great-niece, Danette Crawford.