The former Roma Jean Splinter was born Sept. 12, 1930, at Clear Lake, S.D., the daughter of Ronald and Eileen (Finnegan) Splinter. She grew up in Milbank, S.D., and graduated from Milbank High School in 1948.
Jean married Lavern A. Schleis Jan. 19, 1953, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. The couple lived in Le Mars, where Jean had been employed as a bookkeeper for a few years with Hoffman Electric, then for several years with Criswell Electric/Karli T.V. and was the bookkeeper for Lamperts Lumber Yard for 23 years until her retirement in 1996. Her husband Lavern died March 18, 1995.
Jean married Larry H. Baer, Dec. 23, 1999, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars.
Jean was a longtime member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, where she had served as a lector for daily Mass for many years and was a member of the Church guild. She was a 50-year member and Past Grand Regent of the Catholic Daughters of America and a member of the Christian Mothers Society. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Jean enjoyed watching sports and playing cards. She was an avid bridge player and had participated in the same bridge club for more than 50 years.
Survivors include her husband Larry Baer of Le Mars; four children: Barb (Sean) Ellis of Casper, Wyo., Kathy (Perry) DeJong of Le Mars, Patsy (Dave) Behrens of Andover, Minn., and Mark (Renee) Schleis of Le Mars; a step-daughter Catherine (John) Coleman of Centreville, Va.; six grandchildren: Corey (Suzanne) DeJong of Omaha, Neb., Angie (Zach) Davis of Le Mars, Seano (Kerstin) Ellis of Casper, Wyo., Lea Behrens and Zach Behrens of Andover, Minn., and Nikki Schleis of Le Mars; three step-grandchildren: Jack Coleman of Centreville, Va., Derek (Amy) Timperley of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Trevor Timperley of Le Mars; two great-grandchildren: Raegan Davis of Le Mars, and Zoa DeJong of Omaha, Neb.; In-laws: Shirley Splinter of Mesa, Ariz., Helen Kilker of Le Mars; Ed (JoAnn) Schleis of Le Mars, Clara (Sub) Rhodes of Lake Ozark, Mo., and Bernice Schleis of Struble; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Lavern Schleis; her parents; three siblings: Robert Splinter, Janice Raines, and Sharon Baer; and several in-laws.
A Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Dan Greving officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. There will be a combined rosary by the Christian Mothers and Catholic Daughters of America at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either Hospice of Siouxland, or the St. Joseph's Church Building Fund.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.