Jeanette Ethel (Sansgaard) Larson of Story City, Iowa, passed away Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the age of 90. She was born March 16, 1927, in Story City to James and Lydia (Durby) Sansgaard. She was a life-long member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in rural Jewell, where she was baptized in 1929 and confirmed in 1941. She attended country school through seventh grade at Harrison No. 1 in Boone County and attended eighth grade at the Rosendale School (Clear Lake No. 6). Jeanette graduated from Story City High School in 1945 and went on to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
While still in high school, Jeanette developed rheumatoid arthritis. She suffered severe pain and spent periods of time in Hot Springs, Ark., Arizona, and in California where she worked in a garment factory. She married David Larson and they had one son. Jeanette spent most of her life on the farm her grandfather purchased in 1874. Her son, Dwight, lived with her on the farm until he passed away at the age of 51.
Jeanette enjoyed attending Camp Sunnyside, where she learned many crafts that she made and sold, including little dolls made of sawdust. She was an excellent seamstress and sewed for herself and many others, including long wedding gowns. Jeanette had a passion for history and enjoyed writing; a number of her articles were published and she compiled multiple family history books. Jeanette also enjoyed photography and entered photos in several contests in which, in her own words, she “won a few.” Because of “the war effort,” her high school class was unable to have a school annual, so in preparation for their 50th reunion, Jeanette and several friends collaborated to publish a yearbook in 1995.
Despite suffering great pain and many disappointments, Jeanette had a tremendous joy for life and she loved to make people laugh. Ironically, her greatest moment in life was during tragedy. As she and her son watched the church burning to the ground in 1985, they had a vision of Jesus, which brought them both a great sense of peace. Her favorite Bible verses were Isaiah 41:10 and Philippians 1:20-24; she would undoubtedly encourage you to look those up and commit them to memory.
Jeanette is survived by one brother Richard (Ann) Sansgaard, sister-in-law Delores (Reuben) Sansgaard, nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous devoted friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, son Dwight Larson, sister Esther (Charles) Palmer, brothers Reuben and James Ernest (Jean) Sansgaard, nephew Reuben Alan Sansgaard, and several dear friends and cousins. What a joyous reunion they are celebrating today! Among Jeanette’s important papers was a simple note, “Thank you to family and many friends who helped me along the way.”
Visitation will be held at Bethany Life on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Funeral services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Burial will immediately follow at the St. Paul’s Cemetery. Soderstrum Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.