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Jeanette Ulrichs, 84

Lead Summary

Jeanette Ulrichs, age 84 of Nashua, I died Sunday, April 18, 2021, at the Clarksville Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. 
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24, 2021, at First United Church of Christ - Pleasant Valley, rural Clarksville with Rev. Peter Wenzel officiating. 
Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 23, 2021, at Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory - Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Jeanette was born on Aug. 15, 1936, to Carl and Elda (Fenneman) Wilken and grew up on farms in the Pleasant Valley area west of Plainfield and north of Clarksville.
She attended country school before beginning high school in town, but like many in that era, she did not graduate and instead later earned her GED. From an early age, Jeanette had a strong work ethic, and it was something she carried with her throughout her life. 
Jeanette married Albert Ulrichs, who also grew up in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood, on Nov. 14, 1951, and they farmed in the area until moving to Nashua in 1965. Their family grew to include Ronald, Robert, Renee, and the twins — Dean and Dennis — and those Ulrichs’ kids had a mother who was stern but fair. Jeanette and Albert later divorced in 1989.
She loved her dairy cows, raised 300 geese a year, and always had a big garden. And throughout her life, she loved working on her house, and there are plenty of stories about Jeanette “tearing into her house” on her latest remodeling project only to have her kids have to “save Mom.”
After the family moved to Nashua in the mid-1970s, Jeanette worked several jobs before being hired to work in the Wartburg College Food Service Department in 1981. She loved her job at Wartburg, and she loved the students and worked at the college in Waverly until she retired in 2006. There is little doubt that this strong-willed German woman made an impact on hundreds of Knights during her career. And it worked both ways, for those students made lasting impressions on Jeanette. Long after she retired, she still fondly talked about those students, many of whom kept in touch with Jeanette.
Jeanette loved her church — the First United Church of Christ-Pleasant Valley — and helped run its food stand at various sales throughout the years. 
She was proud of her family — one that grew to include 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She could be a strict grandmother at times, but she was also a giving one who found great joy in helping them through problems and tough times.
Her kids, grandchildren, “greats” and friends will miss her dearly, and they will tell Jeanette stories for the rest of their lives, but they also know that her strong faith means she is in Heaven now and enjoying sweet, eternal life.
Jeanette is survived by her sons, Ronald (Jenice) Ulrichs of Nashua, IA,  Robert (Rae Jean) Ulrichs of Greene, IA, Dean (Elisa) Ulrichs of Brawley, CA, Dennis Ulrichs of Nashua, IA; daughter, Renee Peck of Nashua, IA: 12 grandchildren & 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild; her sisters, Janice (Romaine) Matthias of Cresco, IA, Juanita (Larry) Backer of Clarksville, IA, and Jeanne (Ronald Fuerstenberg of Custard, SD; brother-in-law, Orlin Millius of Tripoli, IA; sisters-in-law, Darlys Mennenga of Clarksville, IA, and Norma Kratchmer of White Bear Lake, MN.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her great-grandson, Caleb Ulrichs.

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