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Vernon Lee “Smokey” Janssen, 81, of Wellsburg, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at the Grundy Care Center in Grundy Center, Iowa, while under the care of Cedar Valley Hospice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services as well as the burial at Shiloh Cemetery in Wellsburg will be private. Memorials may be directed to the family who will then direct them to Cedar Valley Hospice.
Smokey was born on March 25, 1939 to his parents Henry V. and Henrietta (Kolthoff) Janssen. He was raised on a farm in rural Grundy County and graduated from Wellsburg High School in the class of 1957. Smokey was united in marriage to Shirley DeGroote on August 14, 1965 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Together they made their home in Wellsburg and welcomed their daughter Kim into their family.
After high school, Smokey worked for many years at Snittjer Grain Co. He then went to work for the Wellsburg Community Schools, first as a mechanic and then as a bus driver. He loved being a school bus driver and only retired due to failing health. Smokey also worked as a part-time farmer.
Smokey enjoyed doing yard work, cars & trucks and spending time with his friends at coffee. However, his true joy in life came from spending time with his family, especially his grandsons.
Smokey is survived by his wife Shirley Janssen of Wellsburg; his daughter Kim (Chad) Hotz of Waverly; his grandsons Cole and Caden Hotz both of Waverly and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Virgil, Delmar, Kenneth and Marvin Janssen; and his sisters Agnes Ward and Carol Glenn.
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