Obituary: Janice Willis


Janice Katherine Willis, 87, of Eldridge, passed away Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at home.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, with visitation being held one hour prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. Per her wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. Private burial took place in Davenport Memorial Park.  Memorials may be made to Genesis Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Janice was born on March 16, 1936, in South English, daughter of Orville and Miriam (White) Leinen. 

Jan attended grade school and high school at St. Elizabeth’s, Harper. She attended Ottumwa Heights College for teacher’s training. In 1956, she started teaching, sometimes first grade, mostly second grade, at Brooklyn; Sigourney; Tipton; Langley Park, Md. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Luther College, Decorah, in 1990. She finished her career at St. Benedict’s in Decorah in 1996.

Jan married Don Moothart Aug. 26, 1962, in What Cheer.

She later married Ken Willis April 25, 1998, in Decorah.

Jan enjoyed scrap booking, also crafting and sending cards for all occasions. She liked home decorating and Jan loved to travel to see friends and relatives around the country with Ken in her retired years. She recorded scrap books of her travels. She had a doll collection.

Jan was an active volunteer at various Decorah functions including Nisse Nursery School, Nordic Fest, Hospital volunteer, Cub Scout leader, etc.

Those left to honor her memory include her husband, Ken Willis; her sons, Gregg (Paula) Moothart, Curt (Heather) Moothart, Kyle (Justine) Leinen; also her second family of daughters, Karen (Brad) Petersen, Teri (Kevin) Perkins, and sons Patrick Willis, Pete (Alane) Willis, Tony (Neena) Willis, Jerry (Darcy) Willis; 19 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would also like to thank Genesis Hospice for all the love and support in the final days.

Online tributes may be expressed at


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