Jeanette Toepke, 75, New Salem, died March 10, 2015 at Sanford Health, Bismarck, surrounded by her loving family.
A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at Salem United Church of Christ, 115 N 2nd St, New Salem, with Reverend Rose Trenbeath officiating. Burial will be at Peace Cemetery in New Salem.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 pm on Friday, March 13, 2015 at Salem UCC with a prayer service at 5:30 pm. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Jeanette Mae Klein was born December 12, 1939 in rural New England, the oldest child of John and Luella (Johnson) Klein. She grew up on a farm south of New England. She attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from New England High School in 1957. Jeanette went on to attend Bismarck Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1960. On November 20, 1960 she married Gordonna Toepke and they made their home in New Salem. Jeanette worked as a registered nurse until their first child was born in 1961 when she became a fulltime homemaker and the neighborhood medical advisor.
Jeanette enjoyed her social and service activities including Homemakers, TOPS, Nursing Association, Pioneer Club, volunteering at Elm Crest doing hair, nails, and crafts, and delivering Meals on Wheels. She was active in her church, teaching Sunday school, vacation bible school, and participating in the women’s group. She also did part time work in public health nursing and home visits, setting up the Meals on Wheels program in New Salem, collating the New Salem Journal, and providing daycare. Jeanette was an Avon lady for 28 years, winning many President Awards. Her customers appreciated her home visits and personal care and attention.
In 1971, Jeanette and Gordonna’s young daughter, Sherry Jo, passed away of a sudden illness. With empathy, Jeanette offered personal support and encouragement to other parents who lost a child. Jeanette liked to travel, most recently enjoying a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean with her children and grandchildren. She made and decorated cakes, making her daughters’ wedding cakes as well as cakes for special occasions for family and friends. She was an avid canner, often winning the grand champion canning award at the county fair. Jeanette loved cooking, sewing, camping, playing cards, music, and dancing. Her greatest joy was her children and grandchildren, who have been so blessed to receive her love and nurturing.
Jeanette leaves behind her husband of 55 years, Gordonna Toepke, New Salem; and their four daughters and their families, Tamara (Marty) Toepke-Floyd, Redfield, SD and their children, Andrea (fiancée, Nick Crannell) and Tyler; Brenda (Jerry) Rekow, Ellendale, ND and their children, Brandon (Ricki) Rekow, son, Carter and Bridget (Jason) Bennett, son, Landry; Colette (Jeff) Kilber, Otsego, MN and their children, Nicole and Heather; and Melisa (Scott) Peterson, Fargo, ND; three siblings, Lois Stafford (Aldon Sprenger), New England, James (Diane) Klein, New England, and Lori (Ron) Sticka, Dickinson; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.