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Karen D. Jans, age 82, of Buffalo, MN, fell asleep in Jesus on January 23, 2024.  She was born on November 28, 1941, the oldest child of Kenneth C. and Anita C. (nee Giese) Dixon.

She was baptized on November 30, 1941, at the old Buffalo Hospital.  She was confirmed in her Lutheran Christian faith at Cross Ev. Lutheran Church, Rockford, MN, on April 3, 1955.  Her confirmation verse was John 3:16.

She attended the one-room rural country school just across the road from the family farm near Rockford through 8th grade and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1959.  She met her future husband while still in grade school during accordion music lessons with the Griffins.  She participated in her local 4-H club.  After graduation she worked at Marquette Bank in Minneapolis and later served as a live-in nanny to three children in Minneapolis.

On September 23, 1961, Karen D. Dixon and Dale F. Jans were united in marriage at Cross Lutheran Church in Rockford, MN.  The Rev. Wilbert E. Neuman officiated.  The young couple lived and labored as the third generation on their dairy farm in the southwest corner of Section 33 in Chatham Township for nearly fifty years.  They were blessed with four sons.  Karen was a wonderful cook and an avid baker.  She always had large and productive gardens and her canning of fruits and vegetables helped ensure the family ate well throughout the year.  She kept 200 chickens and sold eggs to the neighbors.  As a full partner in the farming life, she helped in caring for cows, pigs, and chickens.  The farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 2011.

Karen faithfully served as the family chronicler.  On annual Oakley Bank calendars, she wrote five lines per day on the happenings, activities, and accomplishments of her farm family through five decades.  While not a diary, she authored a treasure on her family’s farming experiences, starting in the early 1960s.

She was a faithful member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo, MN.  Over the years she taught Sunday School, led the funeral lunch coordination, and served on the Altar Guild for many years.  Starting in the mid-1970s she became the Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL, predecessor to Thrivent) local Branch #948 Secretary.  Later becoming an AAL Lamplighter, she delighted in the successes of sustained superior fraternal support in this Gold Star branch in Buffalo and lending support throughout the area.

After her sons were raised, Karen fulfilled a life-long dream of working in the medical field when she served at several chiropractic offices in Buffalo.  She enjoyed supporting the patients and contributing at the front desk, with billing, and preparing rooms for the clients.  She traveled with Dale across the country (often during his trips in support of electrical co-ops), and on three cruises, to Alaska, Nova Scotia, the Caribbean and Central America.  She traveled internationally for the first time with a group from St. John’s Lutheran, enjoying the trip to Israel in 2008.  In 2010, Karen and Dale went to Europe to visit Greg and family stationed overseas.  They enjoyed Venice, Pisa, and Florence in Italy, Wittenberg and Bavaria in Germany, and Salzburg in Austria.  They were glad they traveled when still healthy.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2020, Karen moved into Memory Care at Havenwood in Buffalo in November of that year.  After breaking her hip in February 2023, she and her faithful husband moved to Folkestone in Wayzata.

She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.  She was preceded in death by:  her parents, Kenneth and Anita Dixon; and younger siblings, Darvis Dixon and Andrea Ressler Hauge.

Karen is survived by:  her loving husband of 62 years, Dale Jans; children, Chaplain, Lt. Col. Gregory (Lydia) Jans (Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ), Lyle Jans (Buffalo, MN), Bradley (Janet) Jans (Wayzata, MN), Douglas (Denise) Jans (Medina, MN); grandchildren, Alexandra and Katrina Jans, Isaac and Peter Jans, Adam and Emily Jans; brother-in-law, Mark Hauge; and extended family and friends.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 302 2nd St NE, Buffalo, MN.  Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, with meal to follow interment.  Pastor Ryan Clark and Chaplain Greg Jans will serve as officiants.  Interment will be at Lakeview Cemetery in Buffalo.  Memorials can be intended for:  St. John’s Lutheran Church or Folkestone Foundation.

Service will be livestreamed via the link:

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.

4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Karen Monskey

    So sorry to hear of Karen”s passing, she and Dale were so great to work with in AAL volunteer work. She was a wonderful asset to our group. Loved visiting the farm also. God bless her family as they move forward as Karen would want. Thankful to have known Karen.

  2. Mary and Doug Jones

    So very sorry Karen’s family won’t be able to physically visit with Karen. Always know she is with God and watching over you.

  3. Perry and Marlys Fruhling

    Our deepest sympathies to Greg, Lydia, and the entire Jans family. Know that you will be prayed for and kept close in our hearts during this time of grieving. May God be praised for her life-giving love to you all.

  4. MIke O'Loughlin

    Dale, So sorry to hear the loss of your wife. You both were so friendly and inviting as I would deliver WH Board books or see you at events around the cooperative. I saw the relationship and love between you. God Bless and your family as you endure this loss.


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