Janice Ketelsen

Janice Faye Ketelsen

June 1, 1943 - February 11, 2021
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Hi, I’m Jan. I am writing about my life and sharing it with you, it’s a once and a life time thing for me now that I have passed. I have had a good life but it’s not as much what I was able to do throughout my life, or accomplished, but my family members all of you, and the people I’ve had the privilege of befriending. I’m going to share with you just parts of my life because there was so much to the life God gave me of which I was thankful for, but too vast to put to print!

I would like to express to my Family members and Friends in Clinton, IA, the surrounding areas of IA, in other states and where I finally settled down after all these years of working and traveling, Washington State, thank you. My love to all of you for having been a big part of my life personally and professionally.

I was born to Earl W. and Elaine W. (Kroymann) Ketelsen, in Clinton, IA on June 1, 1943. I am survived by my brothers and sister-in-laws, Kenneth (Paula) Ketelsen and Dale (Darlene) Ketelsen and many other Family members.

At the age of 6 yrs. old, while hunting for Easter eggs on our Farm with my brother Kenneth, I got badly burnt. Here’s what happened; while I was walking, a hot wire hit my right leg and I grabbed it with my left hand. There was a bad storm that hit our area causing a lot of downed wires because of the weight from the ice on them. 7,200 volts of electricity caused flames that enveloped my body. I fell to the ground! Either the shock or the weight of my body, snapped the wire and threw me some distance. I survived and healed quickly, thanks to God, and the loving care our parents gave me, especially Dad. When the local news reporter interviewed us, I wasn’t overly impressed at the facts of how disastrous the accident was. After all, I was only 6! But Dad and Mom said, “the day of miracles has pasted” because “it was a miracle Janice was still alive”! I suffered a great deal of pain from the burns but just kept on going as us country gals do!

Dad took a trip and when he got back, he had bought me a Black Angus calf. With my tender loving care and grooming he grew into a blue ribbon champion! Being the only female in our local 4-H this was impressive!
I graduated from Preston High School in 1961 and was in several activity groups throughout my school year which gave me the foundation to advance my horizons in knowing that I could do anything I set my mind to!
After graduation, I took special business courses at the University of Iowa, St. Ambrose College and Clinton Community College. I was also an active member in the National Secretaries Assoc.

I worked at Interstate Power Company as a Managers Secretary. During my tenure I received the “Secretary of the Year” award and promotions to follow. While working here, in 1972, I started an interest in “string art”. Bea Kenney and I created some unique pictures. We sold our pieces at various places such as the, “Hobby Show” in DeWitt, IA, a “Do It Yourself Show” in Chicago, IL. We made the newspapers for our talents in creating string art pictures, how much time it took to create them and how they were selling well.
In 1991, I worked for Bunge Grain Company for 10 yrs. as a Grain Merchandiser. In Washington State, I had my own cleaning business and won the contract for the United States Postal Service facility in Marysville, WA.

During the years from 1982 till 2020 just before I could no longer work because of Stage IV Breast Cancer that ravished my body and bones, and my fractured left hip (with an 8” titanium rod inserted to give support), I was in the finance business with Primerica Financial Services. I was an independent representative who then became Regional Vice President (RVP) also working independently. I was able to help family, friends and clients who became friends, to invest for their future and their family’s future providing life insurance, investment and financial services.

Along life’s path, I also loved traveling and canoeing (bought my own canoe). Some of my travels took me to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby! Of course, I wore one of those wide-brimmed hats of elegance and style! I swam in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, went through the Everglades and then along the path of life, decided to visit Hawaii where I attended the University of Hawaii.

Speaking of hats, I loved hats with brims (or one side pinned for a different look), fancy hats for formal wear and hats for casual wear! Almost every day, I wore my casual hats of many colors receiving several compliments. I guessed it was because you don’t see women wear hats with brims every day, just going to church, weddings and sometimes other special occasions.

Upon visiting friends in Washington State I started to like it here. So I stayed over 30 years and for the rest of my life! I have fond memories with many of my friends here and some of them who became friends that left WA.

For those of you who knew me while I grew up and throughout my life and we shared good times (and not so good times) but we still remained family and friends, I will miss you and our calls. Our calls were a big part of me.

If we got to know each other during my time with you personally and professionally, I have shared my life further with you and you know me as of then and until my passing. So what is written above before this paragraph, might be something we didn’t share but there it is! I will miss you too!

To B. Leialoha “Lei” Peterson who became very special to me, took care of my wound at home from the cancer coming out of my left breast, my care giver on the outside throughout my ordeal with Stage IV breast cancer while I was at a Care Center, my advocate when it was needed and sometimes not but she took hold of the reins and got things done, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate and love you for all that you did for me and are doing in the preparation of laying me to rest at my final resting place, Clinton Lawn Cemetery in Clinton, IA., alongside my grandparents, Dad and Mom.

I know you are hurting and grieving as others are, but yours goes deeper as with time together we had shared. Take care all of you and to you Lei, know that I’m finally at peace in God’s hands.

Special thanks to: Sandy O’Neill for everything you’ve done throughout our friendship. Jim Geltz your friendship and the things you did and provided for me while in the Care Center. Sarah Urbick our longtime friendship and the things you did and the Christmas tree in a boot you made that I had in my room at the Care Center. And to two friends Ed and Brenda that provided financial support when it was needed for me, I didn’t give your last names so no one else can take advantage of your generosity due to this obituary, LOL, deepest appreciation and hugs and love!

For all the cards, letters, gifts and flowers I received for all my birthdays and during my stay at the Care Center from my brothers, family members and cherished friends, again thank you all for everything!
My obituary will be posted at and on Facebook under their name.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation and give it to Lei for a cause we talked about I’d like to donate to.

Those of you in WA State, depending on the COVID situation at the time, my “Celebration of Life” potluck picnic will be held at Legion Park Picnic Shelter, in Everett, WA, on Tues. June 1st, 2021 (my birthday) at 12 noon till 4:00p.m. A large cake and beverages will be provided, all eating utensils/napkins/plates/cups and some other food dishes will be provided. Bring your favorite dish or dessert with serving utensils. There will be something posted in our local paper “The Herald” as we get closer. Any further questions, call Lei at 360-658-4477 (my voice is on the recording for leaving messages, but leave it for Lei pertaining to this) it’s our home phone.

Those of you in Iowa, a gravesite ceremony with Mike Goddard officiating will be held at Clinton Lawn Cemetery (2610 Manufacturing Dr.) on Sat. June 5, 2021 at 11:00a.m. Please call 1-563-242-0853 to find out which side of the property to go to for my ceremony. Lemke Funeral Homes assisted the family with arrangements.

God bless all or you, Jan
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