In Memory of Jean V. Kallenbach
Jean Viola Kallenbach, 92, of Hillsdale, Wisconsin, died from complications of Lewy Body dementia at home surrounded by family on September 25, 2023.
She was born in the Barron County town of Arland on May 8, 1931, to Carl and Gena (Erickson) Tuftin. She attended Liberty Grade School in Arland and graduated from Barron High School in 1949.
Jean married Dale Kallenbach on January 22, 1950, in Deadwood, South Dakota, and the couple lived in Lead, SD while Dale worked in the Homestake Gold Mine. They returned to Wisconsin to farm in 1951. After working on the Washburn Farm in Dunn County, Jean and Dale rented a farm near Dority Creek in Barron County. Finally in 1957, they bought the dairy farm on County Highway D in the Town of Maple Grove where Jean lived the rest of her life. Jean’s sister, Clara and Dale’s brother, Oliver owned the adjacent farm, where they shared equipment, ideas and child labor through the years, with Jean and Clara taking turns feeding the work crews each summer.
Jean was an active member of First Lutheran Church of Arland, participating in Ladies Aid and circles, singing in choir, and teaching Sunday School and Bible School. Jean was active in Barron County Homemakers, the Maple Grove Area Helping Hand group, the Dovre Brev Chapter of Sons of Norway, and Hay River Harmony Sweet Adelines. She and her sisters often sang at nursing homes and volunteered for several years at the Barron County Historical Society Museum. She enjoyed traveling and quilting. For many years, Jean was a cake decorator, making several wedding cakes for newlyweds in the area and spectacular birthday cakes for grandkids.
Jean loved to help others, often serving as a taxi –or ambulance– for neighbors and members of the congregation. Visitors were always welcome at her home, no matter what condition the house was in! She and Dale hosted a foreign exchange student, Sandra Hu from Hong Kong. He actively participated in the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved being with them.
Jean is survived by daughters, Renee (Greg) Jefferson of Burnsville, MN and Donna (Jeff) Offord of Wasilla, AK; sons, Russell (Carol) of Hillsdale and Dean (Sandra) of Eau Claire; eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; her sisters, Clara Kallenbach of Hillsdale and Olga (John) Schwartz of Centuria; brother-in-law, David Kallenbach of Sun City, AZ; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dale; sisters, Mabel Rhodes and Helene Rhodes; and brothers, Edwin and Casper Tuftin.
The family is grateful for the in-home caregiving provided by granddaughters, Jayne and Elise Kallenbach, which allowed Jean to stay in her home for the past three years. Thanks also to Sydney Petersen, Roxy LaBlanc, and Visiting Angels for their contributions to her care. Special thanks to St. Croix Hospice for their professional and compassionate ways to be alongside Jean and the family through her last several months.
A memorial service for Jean will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 21 at First Lutheran Church of Arland with Rev. Timothy Vettrus officiating. Visitation will be at the church for an hour before the service. Burial will be at Independent Cemetery in Arland in a separate private service for immediate family.
Jean contributed to many charities and non-profits. In that spirit, the family encourages memorials to be directed toward First Lutheran Church of Arland, the Lewy Body Dementia Association or the Barron Area Education Foundation, or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Rausch and Steel Funeral Home in Barron.