Jeanette J. Ophaug

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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Jeanette Josephine (Folie) Ophaug went home to be with her Lord on May 31, 2022.

Jeanette J. Ophaug

She was born in Geneva, MN, to Ole and Sena Folie on December 28, 1925, and lived on their 120-acre farm in Freeborn County with siblings Lucille and Stanley. She was baptized in the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Ellendale, MN, and was confirmed in the Geneva Danish Lutheran Church in Geneva. She loved her Danish and Norwegian heritage. She attended grades 1-8 in the one room schoolhouse in Lerdahl and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1943.

Jeanette worked for the Clerical Department at Wilson and Company in Albert Lea until her marriage in 1946 to Air Force veteran, LeRoy Henry Ophaug who passed away in 2006. They were the proud parents of Randy (born in 1947), Nancy (born in 1952) and Kari (born in 1965).

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On her 21st birthday, Jeanette joined Salem Lutheran Church where she was an active member of the Ladies Circle, Altar Guild and Women’s Bible Study group and served as a Sunday School teacher.

Other activities she enjoyed included visiting shut-ins, delivering Meals on Wheels and participating in Christian Women United and the YMCA Y’s Menettes. She was a room mother for her children’s grade school classes as well as a Cub Scout leader. When her niece, Susan, contracted meningitis as a baby, Jeanette became passionate about the deaf community, and got involved with The Arc Minnesota for children with disabilities. She also canvased her neighborhood for donations to the Cancer Society every year.

First and foremost, Jeanette loved Jesus, and this showed in her compassion for others. She once wrote, “I’ve always loved people, probably more the underprivileged or poor or those being hurt. I always want to go that extra mile. That is who I am.” Even with dementia, her giving and kind spirit continued to show through to the end. She was loved by many and has left a legacy of faith and love.

Jeanette was devoted to her children and grandchildren and the great “gang” of friends that Lee and she shared for decades. She was silly, friendly, kind, beautiful and welcoming. If you dropped in to visit mid-afternoon, she would happily put on the coffee pot and whip up a casserole or dessert at a moment’s notice.

Immediate family survivors include her three children: Randy Ophaug (Charlotte), Nancy Beers (William), Kari Johnson (Eric); 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Andrew Ophaug, Aaron and Krista Ophaug (Julia, Cole); Benjamin Beers, Maxwell and Holly Beers (Noah, Moses, Eden), Jenika and John Bohman (Bianca, Bernhard, Henry, Howard); Chloe and Evan Nolander, Gretchen and Zachari Mertes, Genevieve Johnson; brother Stanley Folie; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister and husband.

The family would like to thank the staff of Thorne Crest Senior Living Community and St. Croix Hospice for their tender, loving care during Jeanette’s last years.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on June 29 at Salem Lutheran Church in Albert Lea with viewing at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery. Arrangements by Bonnerup Funeral Services.

Memorials may be made to The Arc Minnesota, P.O. Box 64007  St. Paul, MN 55164  or The American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478,  Oklahoma City, OK 73123.