Jeanne Eleanor Stalheim died peacefully in her sleep on October 9, 2021 at Dove Healthcare-Osseo.
Jeanne was born April 24, 1928 in La Crosse, Wisconsin to Howard E. Kelley and Eleanor H. (Schmidt) Kelley. While they lived in a number of locations within La Crosse, their roots were in the south side neighborhood called “Hungry Point” surrounded by her mother’s large extended family. She graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1945. Following high school, Jeanne attended the La Crosse Teacher’s College (UW-L) from 1946-1948.
She married in1948 and the fruits of that relationship was four healthy children along with an inordinate amount of economic and personal hardships. Despite the sometimes dire circumstances, she maintained a safe and secure home environment for her children. Upon obtaining a divorce in November of 1963, she and her four children moved to La Crosse. She went to night school to become a secretary. She worked as bank teller for First Federal bank and later as a medical records clerk. Throughout these years she maintained full-time employment and was a full-time mother.
On June 15, 1968 she married Ralph Stalheim at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in La Crosse. It was a loving partnership that lasted 53 years. Jeanne and Ralph provided a loving home for Jeanne’s four children and were blessed with their own child, Christopher born in 1970.
After her marriage, Jeanne was employed as the Church Secretary for the Taylor Lutheran Church. It was a job she enjoyed. She was active in the church and enjoyed the fellowship of the members of the congregation and was a member of Ladies Aid and Circle. Jeanne had a deep and abiding faith in the Lord. She also had a deep knowledge of the Bible, which was a source of comfort to her.
Jeanne enjoyed the arts. There was always music in the house. She especially liked Herb Albert and Andy Williams. She was accomplished at knitting and cross stitch, always making mittens, sweaters, scarves, and heirloom Christmas stockings. Her cross stitched artwork adorns the households of her children and others. She enjoyed playing cards, croquette and bowling with Ralph in a couples league in Black River Falls for many years.
Jeanne was a positive force for those around her. Although soft spoken, she was resolute in her opinions but also open to other people’s point of view. She always maintained a smile even as she faced the challenges of being a single mother and wife/partner on a working dairy farm. She seldom raised her voice as a parent, leading by a steady, calm example. She will be fondly remembered by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Ralph H. Stalheim their five children; Kenneth (Gail) Shepardson, Terry (Toni) Shepardson, Kathleen Shepardson (John Samuelson),Timothy (Mary) Shepardson and Chris (Kim) Stalheim, seven grandchildren, Laura (Jaison)Tilander, Chad (Jesse) Shepardson, Clare Shepardson, Katie (Paul) Noffke, Brooke (Dominic) Vase, Chelsey Stalheim, Brayton Stalheim and six great-grandchildren Ian Gillitzer, Sonya, Sam, and Fiona Schafer, and Leo, and Scott Noffke.
Funeral Services for Jeanne will be at 11:00 AM on Friday October 15, 2021 at the Taylor Lutheran Church. Pastor Natalie Leske will officiate and a burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. Family and friends are welcome to call on family from 10:00 AM until the time of service. There will also be a visitation Thursday October 14, 2021 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Jensen-Modejski Funeral Home.
The Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home, 128 S. Hoffman Street in Hixton is assisting the family with arrangements.