Jane Geschwendt

June 05, 1947 ~ September 15, 2021

Janie- as she was called by her beloved Vernon (her ‘JC Penny’ man) is holding hands with him in heaven right now. Up until several weeks ago, Mom lived independently, in a beautiful apartment, had impeccable manners, and charmed everyone she met. Dementia took a turn for the worst and we lost our amazing momma. Jane, or our Divine Ya-Ya as we affectionately referred to her, was forever an educator, and at every appointment we took her to she told everyone, from the front desk to the doctor, how she taught at Battle Creek Central and KVCC for 42 years. She never failed to ask if people had read any good books, and onecould find red pens in her purses and kitchen drawers from many, many, essays graded as an English teacher over the years. She made amazing giant pots of soup in the winter time that could feed a family of 24 and banana bread that had the neighbor kids coming to the house. She relished snow days at home with us kids and summers off on Gull Lake. Mom loved to throw a party and could be seen bringing trays of watermelon and beers (when we were old enough) out to us and our friends on the dock. She loved sailboat lunches at Jacobsen’s in Kalamazoo and going to the Beacon Club with our Dad. She loved to decorate, and we joked that “thank God” we could all see well, because we never knew when we would come home to a rearranged house. She was a small woman but could move couches and armoires solo if it meant getting the right look. She was silly and extraordinarily generous. She believed in equality and human rights. She adored diving into new cultures and traveled to Japan and Mexico. Jane and Vern were married in 1969 and still did the dishes side by side every night even though we had a dishwasher. They talked endlessly, went for walks, called each other on the phone daily, had many putt-putt rides in the boat, and headed up to Bayview Gardens often together for a nightcap. When our dad died of ALS in 2015, Jane rallied and tried to move on, but there was just no getting over our Daddy-O. She missed him dearly and never recovered from that loss. My mom and dad had beloved long-term, ‘lifer’ friends with whom we all went camping and to motels in the winter, so all of us kids could go swimming. She loved to dance. She loved her grandkids Maddie, Jaelen, and Jordan, her sisters, her coworkers, chardonnay, and especially her blonde bun. We could fill pages with her accomplishments, but her greatest source of pride was her education, her children, her home, and most of all her husband. Janie will be dearly missed by many but most of all by her three kids and three grandkids- Angela Geschwendt (and Matt) Combs, Jennifer Geschwendt, and Michael Geschwendt. Her late grandson, Colten, was a little angel gone too soon. We imagine her with Dad and Coltie-Pie on a putt-putt boat ride right now. In lieu of flowers, we hope you will do something kind for someone, pay generosity forward, do a good deed. Live a life of purpose, on purpose, and love ferociously. Condolences may be shared online at www.millenniumcremationservice.com.

Condolence

Steve G - BCCHS Class of 1976

September 19, 2021, 5:58 pm

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. Your mother was one of my favorite teachers at Battle Creek Central; unfortunately (and thankfully), many of my papers fell victim to her red pen. She expected much from her students, and supplied them with the tools to meet those expectations through her kindness and phenomenal teaching skills. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Dawn

September 19, 2021, 7:11 pm

Dear Jane’s Family

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. When I came to KVCC she was always so nice to me, and would stop and ask how it was going as I navigated teaching in a bigger school then I was used to.
She always had a smile and I missed that after she left valley.

I lost my Mom 11 years ago and, it becomes, after a time, like an old friend, hard to touch but always around.

I wish you all peace and love in her memory as you transition.

Liz Baker

September 20, 2021, 6:45 pm

I had the immeasurable honor of helping to care for your dad at the end of his life. It was such a joy to see the love between your parents and how dedicated they were to each other. I’m so sorry to hear that your mother passed away. She was such a strong presence in this world and I know impacted many, many people with her kindness and encouragement. Your family is in my thoughts

Stephen Ohs

September 22, 2021, 2:30 pm

Her students absolutely loved being taught by her. She engendered a true love of her subject through her innovative ways of teaching and her high standards and expectations.

Jim and Jane Bauschke

September 23, 2021, 5:11 pm

Jane and Vern were neighbors of ours in Parkview Hills in Kalamazoo. They were a great couple and were wonderful neighbors. My wife and I will always remember the love and joy they saw in each other. Whether they were out in the yard, over at Martell’s for dinner, or taking their daily walk along Greenleaf Boulevard you just knew they were a couple in love. It’s hard to think now that both of these two beautiful people have passed on. We extend our sympathy to their family.

Louise R.

September 26, 2021, 6:09 pm

So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I was a student of Mrs. Geschwendt at Battle Creek Central around 1976. She was a great English teacher, introducing us to some pretty hard, thought-provoking literature. I can remember her telling us humorous anecdotes of early married life and sharing herself in those intimate ways with her class. I’m glad to read in her obituary that she led a rewarding and happy life.

Bruce & Kathy Martin

October 13, 2021, 11:06 am

So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing, way too young for both your parents. We have so many wonderful memories of both of them. No doubt you all have great memories of all the parties you threw while we were enjoying Chicago Cubs, White Sox & Red Wings games with your folks 😉 Bruce remembers a special trip with Vern & Michael to the Brookfield Zoo. Also remember sharing the love of reading with your Mom & comparing book club selections. You kids have been through way too much heartache so young in life. But we know your parents also gave you many gifts. You all know how to work hard, how to value education and most of all – how to make every day count, have fun & enjoy life! Know that we are thinking of you during this most difficult and challenging time.

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