Bertha E. “Dolly” Janssen

Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm


June 26, 1921 – Oct. 10, 2013

Bertha E. “Dolly” Janssen, 92, of Monticello died Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at Monticello Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Friends called from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at Kramer Funeral Home in Monticello, where a vigil service was held at 3 p.m., and on Monday after 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Monticello where a Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m.  Burial was in the church cemetery.  Officiating was Rev. Paul Baldwin.   Dolly was born on June 26, 1921, in Delhi, the daughter of Jacob and Josephine (Besler) Merfeld.  She received her education in the country schools of Dubuque County and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Cascade.  She grew up on farms in the Worthington, Cascade and Monticello areas. During WWII  she worked at Quaker Oats Company in Cedar Rapids and as “Rosie the Riveter” for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, Wash.  She later became a member of the Rosie the Riveter Association.  After the war ended, she moved back to Monticello where she worked at Peterman’s Café and met her husband to be, John Janssen Jr.  They were married Aug. 27, 1946, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Monticello.  Dolly worked at Thomas Bakery until December, 1947, when they moved to a farm in Delaware County.  After 16 years of farming, the couple moved back to Monticello.

  She was a 4-H Leader for a number of years, a daycare provider, and later worked at Edwards Department Store.  She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and served on several of its committees.

  Dolly’s greatest loves were her husband, John, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She enjoyed sewing, gardening, golf, traveling, going to Cubs games, card playing, bowling and dancing.

  Survivors include her children: Gary (Pat) Janssen of Island Lake, Ill., Pam (Vern) Skripsky of Weatherford, Texas, Sandy Kremer (Robbie Kremer) and Marla (David) Jacobs both of Monticello; 12 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; one brother, Albert (Wilma) Merfeld of Monticello; two sisters-in-law, Maj Merfeld of New Mexico and Dorothy Janssen of Monticello; and many nieces and nephews.

  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, John, Jr.; siblings: Nick (Marie) Merfeld, Loretta (Earl) Brown, Henry Merfeld, Lester (Liz) Merfeld, Ray Merfeld and Marie (Alvin) Miller; and an infant sister, Martha; several brothers-and-sisters-in-law.

  Memorials are preferred to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Above and Beyond Hospice or Camp Courageous of Iowa.

Information available and condolences accepted at