Amanda Clara Jelken was born March 30, 1920, on the family farm west of Le Mars, the daughter of Henry and Anka (Kruse) Jelken. Amanda was baptized and confirmed at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Preston Township, rural Akron. She attended country school in Washington Township near her home. Amanda was united in marriage to Dick Janssen Westhoff on March 23, 1941. Amanda and Dick farmed until his retirement in 1972. Amanda began her 14-year career with the Le Mars Community School District doing laundry and custodian work, retiring in 1987. Dick died Sept. 22, 1997. Following his death, Amanda continued to live on the farm until November 2007 when she moved to Le Mars.
Family was very important to Amanda. She had assisted with the Kruse/Jelken Family Reunion from the early 1960s until present. She was the unofficial keeper of the family scrapbooks for those who participated and helped to keep track of where families lived. Amanda was very much a mother to many people.
She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Le Mars, where she attended the Sarah Circle and enjoyed quilting for missions. She had also assisted with serving for countless numbers of funerals at the church.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Louis and Rachel Westhoff of Le Mars; three grandchildren: Teri and Dale Wermerskirchen of Shakopee, Minn., and their children, Julie Benson and Jessica Maki and her husband John, Lora and Doug Berner of Clive, and their children Joel and Chad Berner, and Keith and Donna Westhoff of Le Mars and their children Brittany, Brady, and Brooke Westhoff; siblings, Florence Jennings, Lillian Ludwigs, Leona Pierce, Harold Jelken, and Dick Jelken; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Amanda was preceded in death by her husband; her parents, Henry and Anka (Kruse) Jelken; and siblings: Alvin Jelken, Henry Jelken Jr., Irene Hanson, Clara Krienert, and Mary Ann Meyers.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John's Lutheran Church, E.L.C.A. with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Interment will be at the Resthaven Cemetery, rural Le Mars. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Friday), at the Carlsen Funeral Home of Le Mars. Visitation will continue at the church Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. until service time.
Pallbearers will be Keith Westhoff, Dale Wermerskirchen, Brady Westhoff, Doug Berner, Joel Berner, Bruce Kruse, and Mike VanderMolen. Honorary pallbearers will be Julie Benson, Jessica Maki, Brittany Westhoff, Chad Berner, and Brooke Westhoff.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.