DES MOINES - Jane (Jennie) Shellabarger Mollenhoff went home to be with her Lord on March 1, 2018. She was almost 104.
Jane was born on a farm outside Muscatine, Iowa, to the late Crete and Julia Spring Shellabarger. She graduated from Muscatine High School in 1932 and married Vincent F. Mollenhoff on August 15, 1936.
During her husband's forty-two year career with the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, they lived in Muscatine, Burlington, Waterloo, Des Moines, Ames, Council Bluffs, and Cedar Rapids. Their last move came in 1951, when they were transferred for the second time to Des Moines.
Jane possessed an extraordinary gift for teaching children, a talent she expressed by teaching Sunday school in the cities where they lived and by owning and operating the Humpty Dumpty Nursery School in Des Moines from 1952 to l967. During the 1950s, she became concerned about chemical food additives and the need for good nutrition and vitamins. She was a lifetime collector of antiques, a charter member of the Grant Wood Chapter of Questers (1958), and a former president (1962).
She delighted in spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was blessed with robust health and many caring friends and neighbors. Many will remember summertime visits on her old-fashioned front porch with iced tea and cookies. As the daughter of a car dealer, she loved to drive and was thankful that she was able to do so until she was 97. During her last years, she enjoyed recalling the stories behind her antiques, participating in genealogical research, and reminiscing about her life.
Jane is survived by a daughter, Susan Mollenhoff Rhodes (Doug), Des Moines and a son, David Mollenhoff (Leigh), Madison, Wisconsin. She had four grandchildren: John Rhodes (Lisa), Des Moines; Jennifer Rhodes Reichart (Michael), Des Moines; Kristin Mollenhoff, Madison; and Peter Mollenhoff, Madison. Nine great-grandchildren added richness to her life.
She was preceded in death by her father in 1967, her mother in 1974 and her husband in 1996.
Her children wish to thank the staff at Ramsey Village in Des Moines, especially Kelly, for their wonderful care during her last three years.
At the top center of her cemetery stone Mother instructed the engraver to write this citation: Acts 16.31. It was one of her favorite Bible verses and it reads: "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…."
A small family graveside service was held at the Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine on March 3, 2018. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home assisted the family. Online condolences: www.wittichfuneralhome.com.