Jean Church, 88, of Hiawatha, passed away peacefully on Sept. 17, 2020.
Jean was born in Pine City, Minn., the daughter of Lela and Girard Odendahl. The second child in a family of eight, she learned the
value of teamwork and perseverance growing up on
a busy farm. She graduated from Pine City High School and moved to Rockford, Ill.,
to work at Sunstrand Corp.
Jean was united in marriage to Richard Church in 1961. She cared a lot for people and volunteered at church, PTA, Jewish Community Center and Mercy Medical Center. Her move to Cedar Rapids was positive with the friends she quickly made through Welcome Wagon. With this close group she enjoyed golfing, bowling and traveling. The highlight of her bowling days was a high game of 252 and series of 498. She was an amazing cook and kept a pristine home with favorite items she gathered throughout her life, including ceramics she skillfully made. She was spiritually grounded as a dedicated member of Christ Episcopal Church.
Even with chronic pain Jean didn't complain and was brave throughout her life journey. She was an amazing care giver and nurtured babies at Frontier Co-Op's employee day care for many years. She loved children, hosting holiday gatherings and laughing with her family. Jean was an avid reader and enjoyed music, regularly attending Orchestra Iowa concerts with cousin Gail Conlan and husband Joe.
Jean is survived by daughters, Cheryl Valenta of Cedar Rapids and Barb Dye of Lee's Summit, Mo.; four grandchildren, Cal Valenta, Mitch Valenta, Dalton Dye and Mackenzie Dye; and four siblings, Rita Varney, Grace (Ray) Shoeberl, Betty Schoeberl and David Odendahl.
Jean took great pride in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Church. She will always be loved and missed every day.
Our sincere appreciation to Rehabilitation Center of Lisbon, Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Melanie Stahlberg, Village Ridge, Jean from Comfort Care, Dr. Michael Sullivan, Hiawatha Fire & Rescue and Rider's Club for the exceptional care and service provided to Jean.
A Celebration of Life will be held in October. Donations can be made to Christ Episcopal Church.