Janet Ann Moser passed into peace on November 17, 2020 at the age of 89.
Born in Farmersburg on September 3, 1931 to Elmer and Hilma (Radloff) Lenth, Janet was the youngest of three children. She was baptized at Peace United Church in Elkader. Raised on the family farm, she attended Hawkeye Rural one-room school and later graduated from Farmersburg High, Class of 1947. She maintained close ties with friends and family in Farmersburg throughout her life.
Janet was married briefly to Dwayne Fenton during which time her first daughter, Sherri, was born. On September 15, 1953 Janet was united in marriage with Clark E. Moser. Together they had five children and lived at just one address in Guttenberg for all their years. Janet never wanted to be anywhere else. The kitchen was the heart of their home and there was always cake to be had. Neighbors stopped in for coffee while the kids made a racket in the yard. Thousands of Scrabble games were played at the table, pictures were colored by grandkids, and endless numbers of quilt blocks were cut and pieced.
Janet was a dynamic, no-nonsense mother with a quick wit. While raising her children, Janet also worked various jobs. She took in sewing, worked the early shift at the bakery, operated the police radio dispatch from her kitchen, and for eighteen years cooked at the Guttenberg Care Center. When her children were young she made most of their clothes, often with hand-embroidered details. She always made the girls new outfits to wear for Christmas and Easter. Nobody knows for certain when Janet slept, but we do know that the coffee pot was always on.
Janet was a determined and independent woman who would drive herself halfway across the country to see her children. She cycled 450 miles on RAGBRAI at age 58 and again at 59, on a one-speed bicycle with a basket on the front. She pieced together 1,000 quilts for Lutheran World Relief. She volunteered her time generously to St. John's Lutheran Church through Ladies Aid and WELCA, the Guttenberg Welcome Center, the hospital gift shop, and senior citizen meal site. She never sat down, unless she was watching a high school basketball game or sipping sun tea on the front porch.
Janet used her boundless creative talents to help and connect with others. She sewed hundreds of school bags for needy children. Her handwritten letters to her family and friends were both prolific and humorous. She was a good neighbor and friend. She belonged to Literary Club, Book Club, Red Hats, American Legion Auxiliary, and the Hospital Auxiliary. Later in life she loved listening to live music in the park and going for lunch with friends. She visited the public library daily to read newspapers and the genealogy records of Clayton County.
Janet was driven by a strong sense of community and civic duty. Her greatest achievement, however, was the life she created for her family. A house filled with activity and laughter, and roots from which to grow. Janet always gave her best to everyone. She created wonderful holidays for a large family in a small house. She filled the car with kids and coolers for picnics in state parks and days out at the county fair. She made the most of every situation and powered through hardship and loss. Her legacy is the love and respect of her children and grandchildren.
Survivors include children: Sherri (Jeff) Errthum, Terry (Jane) Moser, Perry Moser; Kerri (Tom) Hutchinson, and Merri (Barry) Stephenson. Grandchildren: Tim and Aaron Niehaus, Stacy (Travis) Klawonn, Leslie (Mark) Robinson, Paige (Kody) Kromrie, Molly (Luke Hoffman) Moser. Emily (Carl) Sadewasser, Madison Moser, Rachael (Jonathan) Lowrey, Isaac Nielson, Gage (Hannah) Hutchinson, Claire Hutchinson, and Matthew (Kelly) Stephenson.
Great grandchildren: Addison and Kyler Klawonn, Gavin Robinson, Elizabeth and Henry Kromrie, Sebastian Hoffman, Graham Sadewasser, and Lachlan Lowrey.
Janet was preceded in death by her husband, Clark (2001), and daughter, Gerri Lynn (2013).
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