On Friday, September 17, 2021, Jeanette Lena Visser laid down for her afternoon nap and woke up in the arms of Jesus. Just prior to her nap she had spent an hour with her daughter Linda.
Jeanette was born January 31, 1931 near Shepherd, Montana to William and Cornelia (Molendyk) VanderVoorden. She learned responsibility at a young age. As well as helping with household chores (laundry, cooking, cleaning) she helped with the field chores (milking cows and haying). Her nurturing spirit was developed by the care she provided to her youngest brother, Georgie. Her siblings included older brothers, Cornelius, William, Adrian and younger sister, Suzanna (Sanny) Visser, and Georgie. Despite all the responsibilities at home she insisted she be allowed to go to high school and graduated from Shepherd High School. Her education prepared her to be her husband's bookkeeper when he established his own construction company.
She met her future husband Albert Visser when she was 15 years of age while visiting her grandparents in Amsterdam, Montana. They married 6 years later on May 12, 1953. They were blessed with six children - Wilma (Mel) Jones, Linda (Harold) Dingman, Corinne (Jim) Warden, Wesley Visser, Cindy (Scott) Ward and Betty (Darrin) Ackerman. She had 14 grandchildren - Denise (Shad), Allison, Joleen (Grant), Wesley (Meghan), Chris, Bryan (Jaclyn), Greg (Kamila), Kara (Sosthene), Sarah (Eric), Matt (Ashley), Debbie (Aaron), Aaron (Zoe), Jennifier (Jesse), and Albert. She also has 26 great-grandchildren.
As a gifted homemaker, she spent countless hours each year in her very large garden (tilling, sowing, watering, harvesting, canning) providing food for the winter. She sewed most of her family’s clothing, including all of her daughters’ wedding dresses. After picking up knitting she made each of her grandchildren a knitted sweater for their first birthday in addition to each of them getting a handmade afghan when they were a little older. Handmade ornaments and gifts are treasured to this day.
After raising her family, she went to work for McDonalds for 14 years. She established friendships with many of the customers who frequented McDonalds on a daily basis and was greatly missed when she retired. Several times McDonalds recognized her for her exceptional customer service and dedication. Once they retired, where you saw Dad, you normally saw Mom. They enjoyed spending their time together. After 54 years of marriage, Al passed away in 2007. Al's passing left a huge void in her life. She had to be coaxed by her children to explore some other interests and find something that brought her joy. Parkhaven Retirement Home in Manhattan, where she volunteered on a regular basis, became that place. She generously devoted countless hours to help enrich the lives of their residents.
March 2020, Gallatin Rest Home became her new residence. Due to COVID, all visiting for the first year was through a window, including her 90th birthday. It brought her joy to be able to see family face to face over the last several months. We are so thankful to the staff for their loving care during this time. Jeanette is survived by her children, their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her one sister, Sanny Visser; five brothers-in-law; four sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Al; four brothers, and sons-in-law, Allen Brown and Terry Eccleston.
Visitation hours will be from 12-5 pm on Wed, Sept 22, at Dokken-Nelson. Graveside service will be held at 2 pm, Thurs in Churchill Cemetery. Please meet at Manhattan Christian Reformed Church at 2 pm to process to the cemetery. Memorial service to follow at 3 PM at the church.
Memorials can be made to the Gallatin Rest Home Auxiliary, 1221 West Durston Rd., Bozeman, MT 59715 whose mission is to enrich the lives of all the residents year-round.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.