Jean Carlson, 83, of Bellevue, Nebraska, formerly of Sioux Falls and Hawarden, passed away on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, Nebraska.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 4, 2023 at the Associated Church in Hawarden, Iowa with Pastor Jean Layton officiating. Burial will follow at Grace Hill Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., prior to the funeral. The Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden is assisting the family.
Jean was born on October 12, 1939, to Eilert and Ruth (Heubrock) Wilken in rural Plymouth County Iowa. She graduated from Hawarden High School in 1957. Jean worked in grocery stores in Akron and Hawarden where she met her future husband, Kenneth Carlson. They married on August 4, 1963, at the Associated Church in Hawarden, Iowa. They had one daughter, Ann.
Jean and Ken owned Ken’s IGA for many years. She gave herself some of the worst jobs at the store like mopping the floor and sorting pop cans. This was a source of humor to her customers. They sold the store in 1987 and spent many happy years in retirement traveling, working at Calliope Village, being involved in the church, warm water exercise, and collecting. They moved to Trail Ridge in Sioux Falls in 2003 where Jean lived until 2014 when she moved to Bellevue to be closer to family.
Jean was active in the Associated Church for most of her life. She sang in the choir, was a member of Women’s Fellowship, taught Sunday School and Bible School, and served as a deacon and elder. She was President, clerk and financial secretary for the church’s Parish Council, and a delegate to many Presbytery meetings. Her love and faith in the Lord were defining characteristics as well as her curiosity, joy in spending time with family and friends and avid crafting. She suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and was a two-time breast cancer survivor. Despite health concerns, she persevered and used her giving heart to serve others.
Jean’s final years were spent at Heritage Ridge in Bellevue, NE where she made many new friends and enjoyed activities and crafts.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Ann (Dan) Prekker, her granddaughters, Elizabeth (Dylan) Sherrill, Eleanor and Claire, her great-grandson, Kit all of Papillion, Nebraska; several nieces and nephews; and her “extra blessing” Susan Smith of Sioux Falls.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ken; infant siblings, Betty and Frank; brother, William Wilken; sisters-in-law, Mary Wilken, Florence Hanson, Eleanor Raynie, and Ruth Wyatt; and special friend, Russell Christy.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to the Hawarden Historical Society or Calliope Village.