Jeanette Jan' Shipstead
February 8, 1931 - August 27, 2020
Jeanette (Jan) Shipstead, beloved wife, mother and grandmother passed away in her home on August 27, 2020 after a long, productive and joyful life. She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1931 during the great depression. The family moved to Minnesota when Jan was young. In high school and college she loved athletics and played basketball, volleyball and softball. She graduated from Marshall High School as class secretary. Her family moved near the University of Minnesota specifically so her brother could get an education. Although few women attended college at the time, Jan was determined to get an education herself and so attended the University and graduated with a teaching credential in 1952. Once she was old enough, she always had a job. She babysat, stuffed envelopes in an office and worked as a clerk in a dime store. During summer vacations she worked as a maid and waitress in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. She worked as a "soda jerk" in a drug store near the University and this is where she met Kenneth Shipstead, a dental student who became the love of her life. They married in 1953 and moved to Washington where she taught kindergarten for a few years. In 1957 they moved to La Mesa. Like many women of her generation, she gave up her career to raise her two children, Nancy and Paul. Jan and Ken joined the United Church of Christ of La Mesa where they met many lifelong friends. They were a gentle couple who gave generously to many charities and always tried to do the right thing in the world about them. They traveled the world, visiting Europe, India, Japan and Egypt. They explored China, Cuba and Russia before they were open to most westerners and boated with friends throughout France, and countless others. They had an active social life and could be seen dancing to a waltz at any party. When her children left home, Jan became a substitute teacher in Cajon Valley School District. Influenced by her Norwegian ancestry, she became interested in the Norwegian folk art of Rosemaling. She enjoyed this for many years and won prizes and ribbons at the Del Mar Fair. The family will be forever grateful to Joyce Lolli who began as Ken and Jan's "chef," then became Jan's friend and caregiver which enabled Jan to live out her life in her own home. Jan was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Ken. She is survived by her children Nancy Shipstead Cox (Brad) and Paul Shipstead (Janet) and grandchildren, Kelli, Kenneth, Hannah and Olivia.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 13, 2020.