Cover photo for Jeanette Volkens's Obituary
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1936 Jeanette 2023

Jeanette Volkens

April 16, 1936 — December 19, 2023


Jeanette “Jean” Marlene (Skinner) Volkens, 87, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, died on December 19th, 2023, at Jennie Edmundson Hospital.

She was born in Carroll, Iowa on April 16th, 1936, to Earl and Lucille Skinner. She attended primary school in Auburn, Iowa before studying elementary education at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa. She was a schoolteacher in Sac City, Iowa and Storm Lake Iowa. While living and teaching in Storm Lake, she met Wendell Volkens whom she married on June 16th, 1957. In the early years of their relationship, they loved dancing at the Cobblestone Ballroom in Storm Lake and became quite an excellent pair of ballroom, polka and square dancers throughout their marriage. They settled on the family farm outside of Carson, Iowa where they raised three children and many heads of cattle. Jeanette provided much support to Wendell’s farm and cattle feeding operations through bookkeeping services and baking, making sure the staff was nourished. Everyone looked forward to their mid-morning breaks where they could have coffee cake or cinnamon rolls, her specialty. She was a willing volunteer as she was active in several roles at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and as a care review analyst for the nursing home, both in Oakland, Iowa. In the mid-90’s, she decided it was time to earn some money of her own and she went to work at the Treynor State Bank as a “back-office girl”. This involved getting the bank statements ready for mailing 3 days a month and was done in the coffee breakroom. As you might guess, it was quite a social activity for her as she enjoyed interacting with everyone who worked there. After 42 years of farming, she and Wendell retired to Council Bluffs in 2001. Together, they enjoyed extensive travel with seven trips to Europe, three to Hawaii, and several cruises to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean. Some of Jeanette’s most special places were at Camp Okoboji, Iowa where her family went every summer for 52 straight years, and Kimberling City, Missouri where she and Wendell owned a condo on Table Rock Lake for 22 years. In 2019, she was diagnosed with a rare form of neuropathy which limited her mobility and progressively worsened, especially over the last two years. Her main activities during this time were her crossword puzzles, sudoku and solitaire on her iPad. She was completely dependent on Wendell for most activities of daily life which she disliked and had been praying for God to take her to heaven. On December 19th, her prayers were answered, and she took her final breath just as her family sang the last note of “Jesus Loves Me” to her. Jeanette “Jean” will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and sharp sense of humor.

Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Lucille Skinner; son, Douglas; brothers Lyle and Larry Skinner; and sister, Carlene Allard. She is survived by her husband, Wendell; daughters, Denise Watts of Omaha, Nebraska and Amy (Greg) Whittemore of Plano, Texas; grandchildren, DJ Watts and Kendall and Harper Whittemore; and sisters-in-law, Phyllis Skinner and Lois Skinner; and many nieces and nephews.

The visitation will be held on Friday, December 22nd from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with prayer service to begin at 7:00 p.m. at Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home at 1221 N 16th St in Council Bluffs. The funeral will be on Saturday, December 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 239 Frank Street in Council Bluffs followed by a luncheon. Interment will be in the Carson, Iowa, Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church or Camp Okoboji at

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 22, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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