Joyce M. (Wilkinson) Jandera, 88, of Hanover, received her gift of eternal life on Thursday, February 17, 2022 at the Linn Community Nursing Home. Visitation was Thursday, February 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hanover Mortuary. A rosary service was held at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 24, at St. John's Catholic Church in Hanover. A funeral service was held at 10 a.m., Friday, February 25, at St. John's Catholic Church. Burial was in St. John's Catholic Cemetery. Joyce was born March 8, 1933, in Washington, KS, to Albert and Alice (Fulton) Wilkinson. She attended Willowdale School, Washington High School for three years, and graduated her senior year from Hanover High School in 1950. Joyce also attended Kansas State University. Joyce was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic faith at the time of her marriage to Robert Jandera on October 11, 1954, in El Paso, Texas. Robert was stationed at Fort Bliss during the Korean War, and they made their first home there. In 1956, the young couple returned to Hanover and lived on the family farm south of Hanover, at which time they welcomed their first daughter, Elizabeth Ann, followed by the births of Robert Frank II, Robin Marie, and Mary Michelle. Joyce was a farm wife and homemaker who took great pride in working hard for her family. She planted a large garden and favored her strawberry patch, rarely allowing the kids to get near in fear the plants and fruit would get trampled. There was always corn to shuck, peas to pod, green beans to snap, not to mention: the canning. When not in the garden, she was busy mowing the yard or pulling weeds in her flowerbeds. Visitors to the farm would always compliment her on her beautiful yard and flowers. Many of the flowers were cut and placed in her home and often shared with family and friends. When Joyce wasn’t in the yard or garden, she was standing at the kitchen counter making a meal. She so loved to cook and bake, always trying new recipes on the family to enter in a contest or the county and state fairs, and she was often known to provide a baked good or casserole dish at a time of need to a neighbor or friend. Every dish she made was filled with love. Joyce was a strong, faithful woman which helped her through the deaths of daughter, Elizabeth Ann, to cancer in 1991 and husband Robert when he was killed in a farming accident in 1997. She faced each of these tragedies and heartbreak with courage and perseverance. It was her faith in God which gave her the strength to be the rock on which her entire family leaned on. After Ann’s passing, she was there to help her son-in-law, Mick, with her granddaughters, Jami and Dani, and became more than just grandma to them. Then after losing Rob, she took on learning the farming operation that she previously knew little about. Joyce and Rob enjoyed taking vacations to see family and especially the fishing trips to Canada and Alaska. On a nice day, if she could spare a couple hours, she would be found throwing in a fishing line off the bank of the Little Blue River. If she was lucky, fried catfish was served for supper. She once tried canning carp and passing it off as tuna, but the kids were not fooled. Joyce not only enjoyed using a fishing pole but was handy with a gun as well. At times, meals might include rabbit, squirrel, or turkey even though the kids were told they were eating chicken. The gun may be pulled out to shoot a rabbit or other varmint trying to eat greens in the garden or in her flowerbed. Even the snakes were not safe, and one time, the clothesline was taken out right along with the snake. Animals were an important part of Joyce’s life too. She helped Rob with baby calves and raised Siamese cats and German Shepherds. Her last pet was her beloved German Shepherd, Hank. He proved to be a great companion and was with Joyce when she fell and was not found until the next morning. Hank stayed by her side the entire time. Joyce loved her children and was a loving, supportive, and wise woman, and did not hesitate to correct or express her opinion with a stern voice. Her greatest joy though was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved teaching them how to cook and bake not only for 4-H but also for fun. Whether it was chiffon cakes and yeast breads for the fair or her cinnamon rolls and German chocolate cake for a birthday party or for a weekend treat. Holidays were always special, and Joyce always had the full spread and served everyone’s favorites. The menu usually included a new recipe or one of her own favorites. It was important to Joyce that the family spent time together, and what better way to spend it than all together for a meal. It didn’t matter if the meal was at her home, out in the field at harvest time, at a wiener roast on the sandbar down at the river, or even over a bonfire in the front yard. It was the memories of the day that made them special. If you ever stopped by Joyce’s home, she always welcomed you with a smile, and depending on the time of day, you’d be offered a cup of coffee, a cold iced tea, or possibly a beer. She always had a baked good on the counter ready to share. If you came around mealtime, an offer would be extended to join the family meal. Wherever life’s journey took Joyce, it was her nature to be kind and to offer a hand to help or a shoulder to lean on. She not only shared this gift with family, relatives, and neighbors, but also with her special group of girlfriends with whom she shared many good times and great memories. Even the various staff members of various facilities where she stayed enjoyed her conversation, knowledge, and motherly advice, especially the special staff at the Linn Community Nursing Home, a blessing to not only Joyce but also her family. Joyce befriended many people throughout her years and was always willing to share stories, offer her expertise in cooking by sharing one of her recipes or a helpful hint, and even giving you an article or two torn from the various newspapers and magazines she read. She also shared her flower and gardening tips and often offered you a start of one of her favorite plants, which always included the details on how to care for it. Once her children entered grade school, Joyce began working at the Hanover School cafeteria and became the Head Cook until she retired. She also worked at Marcon Pies in Washington and for the Washington County Extension Office. She was a member of the St. John’s Altar Society, the American Legion Auxiliary for 50 years, the Red Hats, the Pony-Up RSVP, the Ballard Falls Ladies Club, and involved in 4-H as a leader for many years. Joyce was a remarkable, amazing woman who has left a legacy grounded in faith and family, and one which she should be very proud of! She is survived by her son, Robert Jandera II, Houston, TX; daughter, Robin Elsasser (Allen), McPherson, KS; daughter, Michelle Pralle (Steve) Randolph, KS; son-in-law, Mick Meier, Hanover; sister, Virginia Lampe, Junction City, KS; sister, Shirley Jones, Sparta, IL; eight grandchildren—Jami Meier (Sharm Johnson), Kansas City, MO; Dani Nelson (Jason), Bennington, NE; Jade Jandera, Karratha, Australia; Isabella Jandera, Perth, Australia; Emily Smith (Andrew), McPherson, KS; Aaron Elsasser, Greenwood, MO; Hannah Sheppard (Eli), Westmoreland, KS; and Katie Pralle, Randolph, KS; and four great granddaughters—Adalyn Nelson, Sutton Nelson, Peyton Johnson, and River-Belle Tippet. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Alice Wilkinson; husband, Robert Jandera; brother, Mark Andrew Wilkinson; daughter, Elizabeth Ann Meier; grandson, Cody Robert Jandera; and a granddaughter, Jasmine Jandera; and her beloved dog, Hank. A memorial fund has been established and will be designated later. Contributions may be sent in care of the Hanover Mortuary.
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