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Nelly Janssen

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Nelly Janssen Obituary
Nelly Janssen

Born: December 23, 1928

Died: March 1, 2017

We mourn and we celebrate our dearly beloved Mother, Nelly Janssen, who at 88 years young, peacefully transitioned at home into her eternal life with God and her husband Hubert.

Nelly was the cherished matriarch of the Janssen family. She is survived by her children, Lambert (Vicki) Janssen, John Janssen, Mary Beth (James Fleischman) Janssen-Fleischman, and Jerry (Sheri) Janssen; grandchildren, Jennifer, Matt and Megan Janssen, Jeremy and Tara Janssen, Jake and Joe Janssen; step-grandchildren, Craig Pitts and Jeff Pitts; great-grandchildren, Hannah Harrison, Mattlyn Janssen, Nathanael Janssen; step-great grandchildren, Max and Maizy Mich, Kaley Pitts, Morgan Pitts, Andrew Pitts, Isaac and Avery Pitts. She's maintained a close relationship with her sisters, Betsy and Gerry as well as Hubert's sisters, along with the many cousins, nieces, nephews in the Netherlands and here.

She was born in Nuth, Holland on December 23, 1928 to Maria Deckers and Johannes Bijnen. She married her beloved husband, Hubert on May 12, 1953, at Saint Oda Church in Ysselsteyn, Holland. They were trailblazers. With indomitable will, great fortitude and pioneering spirit, they immigrated to America in 1953, landing at Ellis Island, before settling in the great plains of Montana. Their four children were born here. They came to Illinois in 1960 where the family has remained. Their 60-plus year marriage epitomized unconditional love and was a love affair for the ages. True soul mates, they were very devoted companions through life's ups and downs. They also enjoyed many pet companions, including their Shih Tzu Wiley for the past 13 years.

Mom has led a remarkable life while here on this earthly plane. A notable aspect of Mom's formative years involved growing up in Nazi occupied Holland. Her parents ran a Jewish underground railroad in their home, while under the full view of a Nazi general occupying a neighbor's home. This is but one example of the kind of caring, compassionate family life she grew up in. At the tender age of sixteen years old, Nelly's mom passed away, and she became the female head of the household ~ taking on the tremendous responsibility that this entailed.

Mom was a strong, independent woman ahead of her time. She not only successfully raised four children, but also diligently pursued bettering herself in her chosen career path, teaching. The pinnacle of her continuing education was receiving her doctorate in early childhood education from Northern Illinois University Graduate School May 8th, 1982. She taught over 40 years, finishing her career as the Director of Special Education for a large elementary school district in a Chicago suburb. Superintendents, fellow teachers, administrative assistants and students alike greatly benefited from Nelly's brilliance but also her deep compassion. Through the years many past students have shared how her positive influence greatly affected their lives.

Mom also did triple duty managing the books for the family's chicken farm that Hubert operated, Janssen's Very Select Egg Farm. And in her "free" time, manned the counter at the farm store selling not only eggs, but also raw milk and cheeses. She inspired her kids to be farm kids, be courageous, be independent, be free thinkers, and encouraged them to follow their North Star.

Mom and Dad were blessed to enjoy a lengthy, active retirement. Mom was an astute activity and travel planner during this time. Besides enjoying time with their loving children and spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, they traveled extensively with many trips back to Holland to visit family and friends. They also did several cruises, with Alaska being a favorite. Nelly and Hubert have been longtime supporters of The Loyal Order of Moose and their Mooseheart Child City and School. They were very devout Catholics and long time parishioners of St. Margaret Mary Church in Algonquin, where they belonged to the Ever-So-Young Seniors Group ~ a place where they would enjoy and socialize with dear longtime friends.

She was extremely resilient and adaptive to the challenges God presented to her. She was an incredibly devoted caregiver to her husband, and when faced with her own health challenges, she'd roll with the punches. Her desire was to always stay in her home, which her kids helped make possible, including John who stayed with her full-time in her last six months. She would receive communion at home. She loved laughing and would not tire of watching the Golden Girls, Raymond, Reba, Andy Griffith over and over again! Mom was an avid reader. She was even progressive in her later years, spending time cruising the internet, which included listening to her favorite Dutch orchestra leader, Andre Rieu. Mom was a strong woman, yet a lady's lady who loved hair in place and getting dressed up every day, right down to her jewelry.

Nelly was so loving, kind, nurturing, patient, humble and generous. She had a great sense of humor. And when facing challenges, she was one of the strongest individuals beyond compare ~ in body, mind, and soul. We will greatly miss your physical presence dear Mom, Mother, Mama, Oma (grandmother), Sister, Aunt, Friend, although we know that your Spirit is always near, we look forward to seeing you again when we join you in God's heavenly domain.

Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbRPXFyhD1I to enjoy a short video of Nelly and Hubert's love story.

A visitation will be held on Friday, March 10th, 2017 at St. Margaret Mary Church, 111 South Hubbard St., Algonquin, from 11:00am-12:00, followed promptly by funeral mass. Interment to follow at St. John Nepomucene Cemetery, Fox River Grove.

For more information, please call (847) 458-1700, or visit www.willowfh.com.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Mar. 9, 2017
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