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Janice Wacker - Lincoln KS
2/14/1937 - 3/18/2012

Janice Ruth Wacker, 75, of Lincoln, KS, died March 18, 2012, in Salina, KS. She was born February 14, 1937, in Ellsworth, KS, to Anthony and Georgia (Sebesta) Dolezal.

 Surviving her are: her husband Oliver Wacker of the home; son Delbert Wacker (Joyce) of Lincoln, KS; daughters Helen Pedigo-Sparkman (Mike) of Topeka, KS, Joan Wacker, DVM, of Topeka, KS, and Karen Wellman (Jesse) of Holton, KS; brother Vernon Dolezal of Kanopolis, KS; six grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Janice Wacker was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.  Born to her parents, Anthony and Georgia Dolezal, she and her younger brother, Vernon, grew up on a farm in the Kanopolis area.  She rode pigs at an early age  yes a photo exists.  She attended Nebraska School for 3 years and finished grade school at Clear Creek Country School, both in Ellsworth County.  She graduated from Ellsworth High School, where she made many life-long friends.  After high school, Janice worked for Johnson Brothers Feed and Grain Truck Line.


She enjoyed a good waltz, but she could also kick up her heels for a polka.  As a matter of fact, she met her future husband, Oliver, at a dance.  Apparently, they struck a chord together, as they later wed, and remained married for 55 years.   During the early years of their marriage, they worked side by side.  At wheat harvest, Janice served as wheat truck driver, field hand, chief cook and hostess for harvest meals.  Later, she ran the household and raised their children, Delbert, Helen, Joan (Jodi), and Karen (Karrot Kay), who knew they were in trouble when she used their middle names (which happened quite often).   


Janice hated the fact that Joan wouldn't wear a dress.  It was always a struggle, as Janice was very clothes conscious.  Karen enjoyed lots of girl time with Janice during the three years after everyone else left home.  Janice and her family had several holiday traditions, including baking holiday treats, making Christmas candies, and putting jigsaw puzzles during Christmas break.  The kids were Janice's dishwashers.  Just when the dishes were close to being caught up, Janice would find more to add to the dirty stack. Janice also helped the children learn discipline.  When Karen got mad because she didn't want to do dishes or believed it was Jo's turn, Karen would slam chairs and cupboard doors in the kitchen.  Then Janice would drag her in to see Oliver for punishment (that was pretty scary).  One time, Janice made Joan clean the bathroom to earn the 50 cents needed to ride the elephant when a circus came to Lincoln, when sister Karen had won a free ride.


Janice taught all of her children to cook and to sew.  She collected recipes and allowed for her children to experiment in the kitchen.  Most of the time, the results were masterpieces, although occasionally there was some REALLY salty, spicy or sweet stuff that the rest of the family dutifully sampled.  Once, Karen made a pea sauce with way too much salt in it.  Everybody made faces over it, and decided that maybe a teaspoon of salt would work better than a tablespoon. Karen's first try at jello squares ended with half of the unset jello on the pantry floor.  Janice was crafty, experimenting with new ideas in her spare time and, with her crafty daughter-in-law Joyce, selling pillow case dolls, dish towels, and even pickled hinnies at local craft festivals. She created remembrances for her grandchildren by making an embroidered quilt for each one. 


Family was especially important to Janice. She and Oliver, and her brother Vernon, and Vernon's wife, Phyllis, remained close through the years.  Both Janice and Vernon developed a taste for wine at an early age.  Vernon tells about the first day that the local liquor store opened. Their dad bought a bottle of wine, took it home and put it in the ice box.  Janice and Vernon came by, discovered the wine and did a little wine sampling of their own.  It's not clear who started it, who finished it, or who got in trouble...


 Janice was an historian, tracking down ship passenger lists, immigration lists, pictures and information on the family tree, which she recorded and updated with each birth, marriage, and death.  She dutifully brought these treasured volumes to each family reunion, many of which she organized, where she shared them with the entire extended family.  Janice loved to visit family and friends and many times ended the visit by playing cards. 


Janice enjoyed fish and fishing as long as she did not have to clean the catch.  That is fortunate, because son Delbert caught many fish, as well as the occasional turtle.  She tolerated the parading of his latest catch through the house.  However, she absolutely HATED poultry, having raised chickens as a kid.  One of her repeated statements was, "I hate anything that flies and I hate the ground they walk on."  Joan would bring frogs, snakes, salamanders, lizzards, fish, cats, and dogs into the house. Janice relegated the amphibians, reptiles and fish to the back porch.  When it was time to eat, she notified everybody by yelling "Come and get it!"  One of the family's favorites was her oatmeal spice cake, which she taught each of her children to bake.  She also taught Delbert how to make spudnut doughnuts.  Because these were really good, he would make big batches of these, which generally resulted in every pan being used, and doughnuts rising most of the day in the kitchen, dining room, utility room and wherever a flat surface existed throughout the house.


Janice welcomed her children's spouses and children into the family.  She loved being "Mom" and "Grandma", loved her grandkids, and was proud of all of them, always talking about them to anyone who would listen.  Janice enjoyed watching her grandchildren during the day or evening when their parents went to work or out for an evening.  She treasured the time spent with them on her lap or in her arms. 


Her relationship with Tony, her oldest grandchild, was extra special, and remained so throughout her life. Tony spent a lot of time with Janice while his mother, Joyce, was at work, as they lived within a mile of each other. Tony peeled potatoes for Grandma, and mixed the batter for cakes.  Baking together was a favorite activity, although occasionally Tony might be known to add an eggshell to his creation.  After the meal was eaten, it was time to do the dishes, Tony was the dish dryer. Then Grandma would clean the house and Tony's job was to clean under the table and under the buffet, those places that Grandma couldn't get to.  After that the two would sit and play Tri-ominos, Crazy Eight or Go Fish. Then they would walk down to the creek where Tony would pick up sticks from the ground, so that she could mow.

Janelle and Victoria inherited Janice's love of music and dance. One Valentine's Day, Janelle and her high school show choir called Janice with a surprise Valentine's serenade for her birthday.  Janice enjoyed the sentiment.  Janice fondly referred to Victoria as "ornery".  Victoria thought Grandma was "spunky".

Lee was born on Grandpa Oliver's 66th birthday, while Abby was Oliver and Janice's 50th wedding anniversary present.  One wonders how their parents pulled off these events.  Lee enjoyed playing on the farm and going out to the pasture on the four wheeler.  In fact, he got his Uncle Delbert in trouble with Grandma Wacker for bringing a dried cow patty into the house as an anniversary present for his mother, Karen.  Like her Grandma, Abby loves to talk, talk, talk.  Although Julie was the youngest grandchild, Janice still enjoyed the milestones that Julie achieved during her first year of life.  Unfortunately, Julie will have no memories of Grandma Wacker. However, we hope that those who knew Janice will keep her memory alive by sharing their stories about her. 

Visitation: 1-7:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 21, 2012, with family receiving friends 5-7:00 P.M.

Service: 10:00 A.M. Thursday, March 22, 2012, at Hall Chapel. Burial in Lincoln City Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Tammy Walker Cancer Center or the American Cancer Society.

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