SUGAR LAND, Texas - Janis P. Versen, 80, of Sugar Land, Texas, and formerly of Salisbury, N.C., and Jacksonville, Ill., died Friday, April 11, 2014, at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospice Unit after a long illness.
She was born on April 9, 1933, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the youngest daughter of George F. and Pauline Lowe. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in home economics and teaching in 1955 from Carthage College in Carthage, Ill. While at Carthage she also was a cheerleader and a member of Kappa Omicron Phi.
It was at Carthage that Janis met and married the love of her life, Robert "Bob" Versen, on August 6, 1955, in St. Paul, Minn. He died November 7, 2010.
Jan first taught in Madison, Wisc. After moving to Belleville, Ill., Jan enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. After the family moved to Jacksonville, she began her new teaching career after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in special education from MacMurray College. She first taught high school in the Franklin, Ill., school district. She ended her teaching career at Jacksonville High School in June 1984.
Jan never knew a stranger. Even though she moved several times in her life, she always made wonderful, lasting friendships. In Jacksonville, she was passionately involved in Scouting and earned the Silver Fawn Award for her leadership roles in B.S.A. In addition to teaching, she was always busy sewing, doing needlework and knitting, and attending every possible event in which her children were involved. While in Salisbury, she was president of Salisbury Women's Club and an avid member of "The Out-to Lunch-Bunch". Jan was a member of Salem Lutheran Church while in Jacksonville and currently a member of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church in Sugar Land. She held so many friends close to her heart. In the past few years, The "Young at Heart" group at Fishers of Men kept her motivated to keep up her cooking skills and taught her how to play her new favorite Domino game, Mexican Train. The friends at Fishers of Men supported her diligently and faithfully through the past few years. Especially in this last year, they remained with her lovingly, spiritually and prayerfully.
Janis was so loved by her children and their families. In return, Janis was so proud of and loved each and every one of them. Surviving are Bill (Paula) Versen of Dayton, Ohio, Rick (Margie) Versen of Castle Rock, Colo., and Cathy (Doug) King of Sugar Land. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who were so special to her. They are: Erik Versen of Charleston, S.C., Brett (Marisa) Versen of Louisville, Ky., Ryan (fiancé, Corie) Versen, stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, Katelyn Versen of Dayton, Ohio, Katie (Jason) Ostlund and son Carter of Casper, Wyo., Kyle Versen of Denver, Colo., Mark (Jessie) Versen and children, Braelyn and Zegyn of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tyler (fiancé, Ara) Doyle of Campbell, Calif., and Spencer Doyle of Campell, Calif., and Allison (fiancé, Andrew) of Sugar Land. She also is survived by her sisters, Muriel Freeman of Alexandria, Va., and Andrean Elvert of Chanhassen, Minn., as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Janis was preceded in death by her husband; brother, George; and her parents.
The family would like to thank The Fishers of Men Family, Pastor Jerry McNamara and the Hospice Team at Memorial Hermann SW Hospice Unit for their special care of her in the past months. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested in her name to Fishers of Men Lutheran Church in Sugar Land.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Sugar Land Mortuary in Sugar Land. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church in Sugar Land with interment at Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas. Family and friends are invited to join the family for a fellowship luncheon immediately following the memorial service.
Sugar Land Mortuary
1818 Eldridge Rd. Sugar Land, TX 77478
Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on Apr. 15, 2014