Eileen R. Jennissen, 79

Eileen Rosella Jennissen, age 79, of Staples, passed away Monday, May 29, 2017, at Parkview Care Center in Buffalo.

A Mass of Catholic Burial will take place Friday, June 2 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Staples, with Father Korf officiating.

There was visitation Thursday, June 1 at the church from 4 to 8 p.m., and visitation will continue Friday two hours prior to the services at the church. Interment will be at St. Anthony of Padua in Sauk Centre.

Arrangements are with Taylor Funeral Home in Staples.

Memorial donations in memory of Eileen can be made to Lakewood Health Systems at http://www.lakewoodhealthsystem.com/about-us/foundation/donate/. Cards may be mailed to 718 6th Ave. NW, Buffalo, MN 55313.

Eileen was born Sept. 3, 1937, in Sauk Centre, to Herman and Elizabeth (Winters) Kemper.

She graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 1954, and married her high school sweetheart, William (Bill) Jennissen, Sept. 3, 1956, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Sauk Centre.

Eileen and Bill farmed in Sauk Centre until 1978, when they moved to Staples. They owned and operated Tony’s Chicken until 1989.

Eileen then worked for Lakewood Health Systems in Staples as an activities assistant until her retirement in 2008.

Eileen’s greatest passion was music. She taught private piano lessons and played piano and organ in Padua, Sauk Centre, Staples, Verndale, and Motley for over 50 years. She loved to sing, and nurtured the love of music in all of her children. She also played saxophone and accordion.

Eileen was an avid reader and a lifetime lover of learning. As a child, she asked for a Nancy Drew book each Christmas, and proudly owned a whole set. She enjoyed tending her flowerbeds and being outdoors in the shade. Her favorite flower was the rose.

Other hobbies included sewing, playing cards, and spending time with her family; and she believed in using leisure time to do something worthwhile.

Eileen loved the Lord deeply, talked to Him daily, and lived a life of patience, kindness, and humility. She was a wonderful listener, thoughtful and sincere. One of her favorite quotes was, “Those who have little do not have less. Those who have much do not have more.” She proved this to be true in all that she did.

Eileen is survived by two sisters, Sr. Marian Kemper of St. Cloud, and Jeanette (Donald) Orth of Sauk Centre; three daughters: Julie (Paul) Konz of St. Cloud, Laurie (Steve) Pelkey of Brainerd, and Paula (Keith) Brown of Canal Winchester, OH; nine sons: Mark (Sharlene) Jennissen of Miltona, Neil (Amy) Jennissen of Isanti, William “Billy” Jennissen, Jr. of Isle, Nicholas (Paulette) Jennissen of Seward, AK, Dean (Lisa) Jennissen of Buffalo, Keith (Jill) Jennissen of Byron, Steven (Sarah) Jennissen of Staples, Lynn (Kessie) Jennissen of Foley, and Jesse (Kirsten) Jennissen of Cambridge; 34 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Elizabeth Kemper; husband William Jennissen, Sr.; and two infant sisters, Karen and Joyce.

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