Janice “Jan” Kay Kelpe was born November 6, 1945, to John T. and Beth Briscoe in Sterling, Kansas. Jan met Don E. Kelpe while working at the Dillons Food Store in Dodge City, Kansas. A courtship of water-skiing and letter writing led to marriage on November 27, 1966. After living in Germany where Don was stationed, they settled in Papillion, Nebraska. Jan and Don welcomed Hans Frederick to their family in 1974. She loved to create experiences for her son, whether it was getting a special tour of the leopard cages at the zoo or teaching him to negotiate at the pawn shop for hub caps. She loved to use her creativity and artistic skills to make him elaborate Halloween costumes and she was soon known as an excellent costume maker. Her creativity spilled over into throwing elaborate parties for her friends and family. She gave back to her community through the Papillion Junior Woman's Club where she orchestrated the construction of annual parade floats. After the birth of her third grandchild in 2011, Jan and Don moved to Pella, Iowa to be close to Wyatt, Willa, and Jude. Even though a lifetime of complications from rheumatoid arthritis took their toll on her body, she continued to share her talents through her bulletin board designs at the United Methodist Church in Pella, always wishing she could do more with her gifts. During her numerous visits to and stays at the Pella Regional Hospital, she entertained the kind and caring staff with her quick wit and her incredible determination to get well. Jan attributed this strength to the years of prayer from her friends and family, along with her love of Jesus Christ. She will be remembered by her family as caring, giving, and very stubborn.
Jan passed away on November 13, 2021, at the Comfort House in Pella, Iowa. She is survived by her husband, Don; her son, Hans and his wife Amy; and her three grandchildren, Wyatt, Willa, and Jude; sisters Ellen Newton, Nancy Maskus, Margaret Foreman, Mary Ross, Susan Glenn; and brother Paul Briscoe and his wife, Jill; brother-in-law Paul Kelpe and his wife Jan; sisters-in-law Susie Kelpe and Nancy Kelpe; brother-in-law Doug Kern; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father, Otis Elliot; her brother, John T. Briscoe and his wife Elsie; sister-in-law Carolyn Kern; and brothers-in-law Bill Newton, Bob Maskus, Tom Ross, and Eldon Glenn.
* In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to either Marion County Humane Society or the charity of your choice.
To send flowers to Janice "Jan" Kay Kelpe's family, please visit our floral store.
The Charity of Your Choice
Marion County Humane Society