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Jane's Story

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Jane Elizabeth Witkop, 93, of Traverse City, passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior and joined her beloved husband on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at Traverse Manor Assisted Retirement in Traverse City.
Jane was born on Monday, Nov. 12, 1923 to the late Nellie Christine (Nelson) and Andrew Peter Nelson in Leelanau County. She graduated as the salutatorian of her Leland High School class. She married Hiram "Hy" Witkop on Saturday, Jan. 29, 1949 in Leland. He preceded her in death in 1977.
Jane's family has a long history in the Grand Traverse/Leelanau County area. She was the business owner, along with her husband, of Northland Farm Equipment as well as the bookkeeper. She was a long time and faithful member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and the Prayer Chain. Jane was the leader of the Bethlehem Lutheran World Relief quilt making group and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of that group. She was very proud of the fact that the group created and donated over 12,000 quilts to impoverished people in many countries. She was also a member of Extension and Farm Bureau. She enjoyed traveling to Venezuela, England and Hawaii with her husband Hy prior to his passing and her greatest joy was spending time with her family.
She is survived by her son, Michael (Laverna) Witkop, of Traverse City; her daughters, Anita (Michael) Greiner, of Traverse City, Linda (Alan) Hagland, of Brimley, Sharon (Alden) Gonder of Cadillac; 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Jane is also survived by her brother, Herbert Nelson, of Leland; and her sister, Mae (Richard) Purvis, of Traverse City. In addition to her husband and parents, Jane was preceded in death by a brother, Orlean and his wife, Margaret Nelson; and sister-in-law, Marthabelle Nelson.
Visitation for friends and family will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Visitation will also take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
The funeral service and celebration of Jane's life will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Traverse City, with the Rev. Paul Busekist officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
The family would ask that Jane be remembered through memorial contributions to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1050 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City, MI 49686-2799 or to Lutheran World Relief - The Quilt Project, 700 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230.
Please share your memories of Jane, as well as thoughts for the family by visiting her online tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Published on November 7, 2017
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