The Life of Daniel Jansma
Early Life and Education
Jennie Jansma was born near Alvord, Iowa and attended country school. After marrying Walter Jansma of Hull, Iowa they farmed east of Lester until February 1946 when they relocated to what later became Jansma Cattle Company near Rock Rapids.
Jennie was an enthusiastic gardener who took great pleasure in planting flowers and feeding birds. In addition, she enjoyed cooking, baking and sewing – hobbies which she never missed attending during sporting events for nieces or nephews she supported so greatly.
She is survived by two of her children: June Jansma Vos from Kingsley and Tony Jansma of Rock Rapids; seven grandchildren including Wallace and Johna Jansma, Debra Rushing (d.o.d), Bonita Jansma Todd Jansma Janna Walton Clinton Derynck Russell Nomi Vos; thirty great-grandchildren; five sisters; three brothers.
Achievement and Honors
Jansma shares how the Lord has brought healing and redemption in her past through faith, family, and church support after experiencing trauma as a foster care child. She credits these resources with keeping her moving forward after experiencing trauma as an orphan child in foster homes.
Jansma’s ability to “look across systems” has served her well both engineering and business roles at JPL, such as enterprise-level re-engineering involving finance, services administration, asset management & acquisition and human resources. Additionally, she excels in proposal formulation – something typically handled by project managers at NASA rather than engineers.
Jansma is not only known for her professional achievements but is also an accomplished violinist, performing with orchestras throughout the Midwest and Kentucky. She holds a master of music degree from Bard College’s Longy Conservatory as well as being an honorary member of Niles String Quartet.
Jansma enjoyed hiking, camping, mountain climbing and reading extensively – particularly short stories and poetry writing. Married and father to two children, he also served on the board for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp as well as appearing as guest speaker at universities, music conservatories and civic organizations.
In November 2022, he was found dead at his home in Markesan – its cause is still unknown – leaving his family to mourn his passing and greatly miss him.
Kristopher Jansma is the author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards and Why We Came to the City, winner of the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award. His writing has appeared in publications like the New York Times, Salon, The Millions, The Believer and Slice, among many others. Additionally he serves as assistant professor of English and creative writing at SUNY New Paltz as well as graduate lecturer in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College.