Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Willis “Bill” Janssen, 80
Willis “Bill” Janssen, 80, of Rose Creek, passed away on July 21, 2009, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester.
Bill was born on May 29, 1929, to Ben and Grace Janssen near Chapin, Iowa, in Franklin County. He grew up and attended school in Hampton, Iowa.
He was united in marriage to Marlis Miller on Feb. 4, 1951, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hampton. He enlisted in the Air Force on Nov. 25, 1951, serving as a jet aircraft mechanic for four years in Arizona. Following his discharge, he returned to Hampton with Marlis to do over-the-road trucking and work in sales in an auto parts store.
In November 1959 he moved the family to a farm south of Austin and continued farming in the Austin, LeRoy and Rose Creek area. He started selling cars for Holiday Cars in October 1968, and was involved in all aspects of the dealership. He retired in 2003 and kept himself busy by helping haul hogs for his three sons in their business.
His passion in life was owning and showing beautiful horses, specializing in show at halter. The love of the animal was passed to all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He and Marlis enjoyed hauling horses across country to various states. It allowed them to see a large part of the U.S.A.
He is survived by his wife, Marlis; four children: Barb (Bruce) Kvittem, Larry (Melanie) Janssen, Steven (Lori) Janssen and Scot Janssen; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; three brothers: Robert (Mary) Janssen, Phoenix, Ore., Ken (Ruth) Janssen, LeRoy and Duane (Esther) Janssen, Denver, Iowa; three sisters: Dorothy Miller, Sheffield, Iowa, Margorie (Ralph) Larson, Fremont, Neb., and Marilyn (Gene) Heilskov, Hampton.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, one brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law.
Bill was dearly loved by his family and friends and will be deeply missed.
A memorial service will be Sunday, Aug. 2, at 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin. Visitation with the family will be from 2 to 3 p.m.