Mary Joyce Janssen (Ankiewicz), age 88, passed away at home in Las Vegas, Nevada in the company of loving husband and caregiver Bob on Saturday, April 20, 2019. She was born on July 18, 1930 in LaSalle-Peru, Illinois to Joseph and Katherine (Margherio) Ankiewicz. Mary attended school in Peru, Illinois until starting work at the West Clocks factory at age 16. She completed primary education via night school. Mary met Robert (Bob) L. Janssen in 1951 while he was serving in the Coast Guard. They married in 1952 at Christ Lutheran Delaware Church, Syracuse, Nebraska.
From 1952 until Bob's retirement from the Air Force in 1968, Mary endured the challenges and hardships, and enjoyed the travel and social opportunities, while managing a military family as she accompanied Bob to several duty stations and raised their children on her own during his remote assignments. Mary was most proud of Bob's participation in the inaugural parade for President John F. Kennedy. While assigned to Hancock Field, Syracuse, New York from 1962 to 1968, she gave countless volunteer hours to the base chapel, the youth center, and especially the NCO Wives Club, culminating with her service as President.
In 1969, they relocated to Bob's hometown of Syracuse, Nebraska where they co-owned and managed Pete's Cafe. She also cultivated many memories and lasting friendships while working for Russell Stover Candies in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In 1981, they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. She worked at Kmart until retiring in 1995. She was also very active in Calvary Lutheran Church. Mary and Bob volunteered with Lutheran Social Services, delivering food to homeless shelters and food pantries throughout Las Vegas. A proud and happy event occurred when son Gary (active duty Air Force) was reassigned to the Las Vegas area (in support of the F-117 "stealth fighter" she would learn upon program declassification) allowing her to more closely bond with his family. Another proud event occurred when daughter Sandy (also active duty Air Force) joined the USAF "Thunderbirds" Aerial Demonstration Squadron.
Mary is survived by a beloved husband of 67 years, Bob; children Gary (married to Sheila (Hawkins) Janssen and Sandy Janssen (married to Gary Culver); grandchildren David Janssen and Lisa Cardenas (married to Rob Cardenas); great-grandchildren Riley Cardenas, Cameron Cardenas, Aubrie Janssen, and Parker Janssen. Nephews Allen and Brian Kobold from Peru, Illinois and Her sister Virginia (Kobold) predeceased Mary.
Mary will be forever loved and missed by her friends and family.
Funeral services will be held, Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at Bunkers Mortuary, 925 Las Vegas Blvd North, Las Vegas, NV. Viewing from 11:00am to 1:00pm, services and burial will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mary's name to the Diabetes Association or the American Heart Association.
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