Neva Lou (Champ) Jantzen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and sister of Beatrice passed from our world to be with her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at Beatrice Health and Rehabilitation in Beatrice at the age of 79. She was born on August 4, 1942 in Odell to Lewis and Bonnie (Kechely) Champ. At only two years old, she contracted Polio and spent much of her childhood in leg braces. Neva spent her young childhood surrounded by the Kechely family as her father was in the military. She had two brothers, Dennis and Lew and a sister, Nancy. Neva was baptized on March 25, 1951 at First Christian Church in Beatrice. At the age of 16, Neva lost her mother, Bonnie to a battle with Crohn’s Disease. Neva was left to help raise her brothers and sister until her father re-married in 1960 to Linda C. Jantzen. She graduated from Beatrice High School in 1960 and attended the University of Nebraska for a couple years, majoring in English.
Neva married Ernest J. Jantzen of Plymouth on November 23, 1963 at the First Christian church in Beatrice. After marrying Ernest, she joined the First Mennonite Church west of Beatrice where she was active leading the Sunday School and Bible School programs for many years. Neva went back to work as a secretary once her children were in school. She worked for the American Red Cross, First Mennonite Church and eventually the First Christian Church which she worked at for over 30 years, finally retiring in May of 2016.
Neva loved to cook and entertain people. Family was very important in Neva’s life and big family gatherings were her specialty. She was a wonderful cook and many enjoyed her cooking over the years. It is one of the things she missed most as she aged. Neva also enjoyed cross stitching, reading and cross word puzzles.
As Neva aged, she suffered from Post-Polio Syndrome causing her many health problems along with an overall weakness in her legs and arms which led to her living at Beatrice Health and Rehabilitation. This move during the COVID outbreak was extremely difficult as she found herself very isolated. Many window visits and eventually weekly visits from family always lifted her mood. On occasion, a game of Dominoes was enjoyed.
We as family want to express our appreciation for the outpouring of support from our family and friends. Thank you to the staff of Beatrice Health and Rehabilitation and the Beatrice Community Hospital Hospice for your loving care of Neva. God bless each one of you. We are thankful to have been blessed by the life of Neva and our memories of her will always be cherished.
Neva is survived by her husband, Ernest; children, Scott and wife Denise, Darlene Funk and Bryan, Darwin and wife Terri, all of Beatrice; grandchildren, Aaron, Asha, Leona and Denise Jantzen, Emily and Nickolas Funk, Cody Parker and wife Samantha, Alexander and special friend Jovanna Goertzen, Bonnie Jantzen; great grandchildren, Campbell, Arlo and Sylvie; and siblings, Dennis Champ and wife Helen of Rapid City, South Dakota, Lew and wife Linda of Sterling, Colorado, Nancy Schmidt and husband Larry of Fairbury. She was preceded in death by her parents; step-mother; and granddaughter, Sydney Jantzen.
Memorial Services will be held at 11:30 AM Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at the First Christian Church in Beatrice with Rev. Michael Schmidt and Rev. David Bigley officiating. The service will be live streamed on the church’s Facebook page. A family prayer service will be held at 11:15 AM Tuesday in the church parlor. Prior private family interment will be in the Mennonite Cemetery west of Beatrice. Visitation will be at Harman-Wright Mortuary on Monday, November 1, 2021 from noon to 8 PM with family greeting friends from 5 to 7 PM. Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice in care of the mortuary. Harman-Wright Mortuary & Crematory in Beatrice in charge of arrangements.
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