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Dorothy Janice Kassel

Sep 24, 2020

Funeral service for Janice Kassel of Emmetsburg will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Emmetsburg. The Rev. Hojin Shin will officiate.

Interment will be in Silver Lake Cemetery, Ayrshire. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation is Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Emmetsburg.

Dorothy Janice Wilson was born in Blockton, IA, on Dec. 2, 1930, to Charles George Wilson and Bernice Petrie Wilson. She grew up in New Market, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1949.

Janice attended Iowa State College in Ames, studying home economics. There she met and married Kenneth Kassel on Dec. 16, 1951, at the Collegiate United Methodist Church.

The couple started married life in Storm Lake and then moved to Monmouth, IL. Ken was later transferred to work in the main office in DeKalb, IL. An opportunity to farm came up and the family moved to Emmetsburg. They later settled at the home farm near Ayrshire.

This union produced four children: David, Paul, James, and Karen.

Janice was a wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, and leader. As a farm wife, she excelled at taking care of the family, kept the books, and managed the home, inside and out. She was an accomplished cook, seamstress and gardener. Flowers were always a passion and it was normal to plant 100 tulip bulbs every fall. She joined Garden Club in 1970, which held a special place in her heart.

She served her church in many capacities, including Sunday School teacher, choir member and District UMW officer. She was a regular leader of the Silver Lake Wide Awakes 4-H club and supported sports and music activities at school as her kids grew up.

Janice was a faithful member of the Methodist Churches in Ayrshire and Emmetsburg. They enjoyed living across the street from Five Island Lake and evening boat rides. They loved to travel and took many special trips, but always enjoyed returning home. Janice added PEO to her list of involvements, a sisterhood she dearly treasured. Staunch fans of the Emmetsburg E-Hawks, she and Ken attended many EHS football and basketball games. Janice especially loved the show choir events. In later years, Janice’s coffee group provided another source of friendship, fun, and support.

Janice enjoyed her family most of all, making holidays, birthdays, outings and vacations fun and memorable for her children and their families.

Writing came naturally to Janice and she wrote articles for various publications. After moving to Emmetsburg, she was invited to write and present meditations for the “Christian Woman Speaks” radio program on KICD, a service she did for many years. In 2018, she wrote and published her own memoir, And Many Thanks, which showcases her life as a farm wife with stories and meditations. Her desire was to leave behind a written legacy of love and gratitude to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Janice Kassel passed away on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at the age of 89.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Bernice Wilson; sister, Portia Wilson Pershing; brother, Dean Wilson; niece, Stephanie Pershing Lewis; and daughter-in-law, Cindy Hurley Kassel.

Janice is survived by her husband, Ken, of Emmetsburg; children: David Kenneth Kassel of Ayrshire, Paul Charles Kassel (Julie), of Spencer, James Petrie Kassel (Patti), of Louisville, KY, and Karen Kassel Hutto, of Duluth, GA; and 12 grandchildren.

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