Skip to main content

Janet Meyer

The Daily Reporter - Staff Photo - Create Article
1946 — May 30, 2024

Janet Kay (Thurber Norris Graettinger) Meyer, 78, completed her journey with pancreatic cancer on May 30, 2024, at Mary Greeley Medical Center's Israel Family Hospice House surrounded by her family.

Jan was born in 1946 in Duluth, Minnesota, to Tom and Rachael Thurber. When she was ten, the family of four moved to Bettendorf, Iowa. By age 11, Jan was both the church organist and the musical entertainment at Bishops Cafeteria. During high school, Jan was involved with the Order of Rainbow for Girls through the Masonic Lodge where she served many local offices and eventually was Grand Charity of the State of Iowa.

When Jan graduated from Bettendorf High School in 1964, she attended Drake University in Des Moines on a full music scholarship, double majoring in music education and organ.

She had met Keith Norris in college and they were married in 1968 at his home church, Lost Island Lutheran. At the same time, she was offered the K-12 vocal music position at Graettinger Community School where she taught for two years.

The next 10 years were a blur of four children, lots of farm work, church leadership and musicianship, piano lessons, and a departure from teaching. She did return to teaching K-12 vocal music at Ruthven Community Schools in 1978 where she remained until her retirement 28 years later.

Keith died in the summer of 1984. Jan moved her family to Ruthven. Her marriage to Alan “Gus” Graettinger in 1986 was cut short by his death from cancer in 1988.

In 2005, she and Bob found a kinship which led to marriage on Oct. 1, 2006. They lived in Carroll, Iowa; Myrtlewood, Alabama; Spencer, Iowa; Cameron, Missouri; and Mission, Texas. She truly enjoyed traveling all around the country to see all their kids in their motorhome and enjoying the sightseeing along the way. They decided in 2022 that it was time to return to Iowa roots with a home in Rhodes.

Throughout her life, Jan enjoyed many volunteer community opportunities and cherished membership in the Cameron chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. Her personal pursuits included needlework, quilting, reading and cooking in addition to sharing her musical talents as a vocalist, pianist, and organist.

Her cancer journey began in April of 2023 and the team at Bliss Cancer Center was outstanding. Jan intended to live each of her remaining days to the best of her ability in faith and love always with a calling and purpose.

Jan was preceded in death by her mother, Rachael S. (Viers) Thurber; her father, Thomas E. Thurber; her husband, Keith I. Norris; and her husband, Alan “Gus” Graettinger.

Jan is survived by her husband, Robert “Bob” Meyer; and brother, John (Margaret) Thurber; her four children, Karyn (Troy) Leininger; Kimberly (Joseph “Jay”) Venzon; Kyle (Amee) Norris; Kirt (Amanda) Norris; seven grandchildren, Madison (Kolton Roth) and Kadin (Lexi Chase) Norris; Megan, Elliot and Ethan Norris; Hannah and Chloe Venzon; nephew, Brandon (Kristen) Thurber; and niece, Amanda (Ryan) Stallings and their families. Jan is also survived by Robert’s four children: Durene (Joseph), Mark (Sherry), Brenda and Todd. She leaves behind nine stepgrandchildren, and 22 stepgreat-grandchildren as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.

The relatives of Keith Norris and Gus Graettinger will also mourn her loss as one of their family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Janet Meyer Memorial Scholarship Fund for students pursuing a music interest after high school / post-secondary education.

Cremation rites have been accorded by Mitchell Funeral Home. Services will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 605 First St. N., in State Center, on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at 2:30 p.m. with visitation at 1:30 p.m. A family-led celebration of life and inurnment will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2024, at Lost Island Lutheran Church, 3797 310th Street, in Ruthven. Fellowship with family to follow inurnment.

The St. Paul service will be recorded and will be made available by the Mitchell Funeral Home.

--- Online Subscribers: Please click here to log in to read this story and access

Not an Online Subscriber? Click here to subscribe.

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates