Zoe Helen Jansen, whom everyone knew as “Grandma Zoe,” left us all with love, compassion and her love for the Lord on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. It is now time to “cowboy up” as she would say.
She was born Dec. 3, 1927, to Albert E. and Helen (Richards) Wilkins and attended schools in Belmont, Cut Bank and Lavina. She graduated from Montana State University Bozeman and taught P.E. and biology at Billings Garfield School.
On Oct. 22, 1950, she married the love of her life, Wilbur H. Jansen, at the Painted Robe Ranch. They spent 34 years working together on the Jansen Ranch near Lavina.
After Wilbur’s death in 1985, Zoe continued to stay actively involved in the ranch operations, especially enjoying her Tennessee Walking Horses. She enjoyed quilting club, gardening and sharing her many products; she also enjoyed bowling and spending time with her sister Joan. Zoe, in her pink bathing cap, has the record for water skiing at the age of 79 at Echo Lake. She was an avid supporter of all her grandchildren’s sport activities wearing the team colors of the CMR Rustlers, Lavina-Broadview Pirates and the MSU-Northern Lights.
Zoe was preceded in death by her husband and parents. She is survived by her sister, Joan Jackson (Nye), son Michael (Janet) of the family ranch, son Patrick (Billings), and daughter Sheree (Jerry) of Great Falls; seven grandchildren, Tricia Jansen, Josh (Francine) Jansen, Luke (Whitney) McKinley, Jared Jansen, John Jansen and Zach McKinley attending MSU-Northern, and Jeremiah Jansen attending MSU Bozeman. Survivors also include four great-grandchildren; Jace, Lillian Zoe, Emalyn and Adelaide and several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, at Smith West Funeral Home’ 304 34th St. West. Burial will be in the Lavina Cemetery family plot.
In leiu of flowers, Grandma Zoe has requested memorials be sent to MSU-N Foundation, Box 1691, Havre, MT, 59501. Please put in memory of Grandma Zoe.