Janice Ann Seeden was born on June 29, 1933, on a farm near Ralston, Iowa, to Dick and Hulda (Platt) Seeden. She was welcomed home by siblings Leo and Lorna. She passed away at The Regency in Jefferson, Iowa, on August 12, 2023.
As a young child, Janice’s family moved to a farm near Scranton where Janice spent her childhood. Janice had fond memories of growing up on the farm, especially playing with her childhood friends, Patsy Monthei and Betty McLaughlin. Janice also loved her family’s Saturday night visits to Jefferson, where they did their shopping and she was able to spend time with her friends and go to the picture show.
Janice’s mother, Hulda, loved working outside in the garden, leaving a lot of the cooking and baking responsibilities to Janice. This was just the beginning of Janice’s love for cooking and baking over the years. Janice developed a reputation as one of the best cooks in Greene County, as there was rarely a time when the Kennedy kids or their friends did not enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls or other desserts on the kitchen counter. Even later in life, when Janice’s eyesight was challenged with macular degeneration, she could whip up a four-course meal at a moment’s notice without a single recipe.
Janice attended her primary years at the country school near her family’s farm. She graduated from Scranton High School in 1950, at the age of 16, where she enjoyed being a baton twirler. After high school, Janice had high hopes of moving to Jefferson, as her older sister Lorna had done, but Janice’s father Dick had other ideas. Instead, Janice’s father had signed her up for the nursing program at St. Anthony’s School of Nursing. Even though this was not Janice’s plan, it worked out well, as she became a loving and caring nurse for many years. She spent her career at the Greene County Hospital in Long Term and then part-time in Boone, Iowa caring for Alzheimer patients.
While attending nursing school, Janice met a handsome Marine, Jerry Kennedy, who had just returned home from the Korean War. They spent the evening getting to know each other at the Starline Ballroom, which led to 69 years of marriage. They spent a short time renting a room at the Cuddy’s Boarding House in Jefferson before Jerry and Janice made their home for the next 16 years on a farm just west of Grand Junction. In 1969, Jerry and Janice decided to move their family into town and built their family home on Elizabeth Street.
In 1979, Janice opened a clothing store with her daughter, Kathy, in Grand Junction, Iowa, called the Fashion Center. They spent 8 wonderful years working alongside each other before the store closed in 1987, at which time Janice returned to nursing.
In 1990, Janice mentioned to Jerry that the Loof home was for sale and he knew she had admired it for years. Without telling Janice, Jerry purchased the home for her and Janice & Jerry lived there for the next 32 years. Janice loved decorating her beautiful home and sitting in the living room visiting with all her family.
Over the years, Janice’s passion in life was spending time with her children and grandchildren. In 1976, she was named “Mother of the Year” for Greene County. Janice regularly attended her children’s and grandchildren’s games, concerts, and other activities. Janice also enjoyed cooking and baking for her friends, coworkers, and various clubs that she was involved in.
Janice was a devout Catholic and active in the St. Brigid’s Altar Society, where she assisted in organizing garage sales for the church. She was a firm believer in cherishing each and every day, as she often said, “Every day is a Blessing.” Janice touched the lives of many people and was always willing to give to others and help those in need.
Janice was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, and other relatives. Janice is survived by her loving husband, Jerry; her eight children, Pat (Bud) Fagen, Kathy (Greg) Savits, Mike (Michelle) Kennedy, Susan (Randy) McCollom, Teresa (Phil) Lansman, Gina (Shawn) Kennedy-Brown, Jim (Julie) Kennedy and Sandy (Jeff) Pedersen; her 25 grandchildren; and dozens of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Honor Flight Network to assist Veterans with visiting Washington, D.C.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 17, 2023, at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Grand Junction, with Father Bill Schreiber officiating. Visitation was Wednesday, August 16, 2023, at St. Brigid Catholic Church. Interment will be at Mount Calvery Cemetery following the funeral mass.