Janet Marie Mathes, 86, of Knoxville, Iowa passed away Saturday Aug. 10, 2019 at West Ridge Nursing Home in Knoxville. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Melcher-Dallas. Family received friends prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. Burial will be at the Dallas Cemetery following the service. A luncheon will be held at the Columbia Community Center. Memorials may be made to the Columbia United Methodist Church.
Janet was born on Oct. 8, 1932 in Rockwell City, Iowa. She was the daughter of Heyke B. Poppinga and Alice (Lighter) Poppinga. Janet was the fourth of five children.
The Poppinga family moved to Marion County in 1939. Janet graduated from Dallas High School in the class of 1950. Janet was joined in matrimony to Arend Donald Mathes on Sept. 3, 1950. Arend and Janet were blessed with three children Arend Gene, Donald Ray, and Charlotte Kay.
Arend and Janet raised their children in the Melcher-Dallas area. Her husband Arend, passed away on Sept. 13th,1973. Janet married Wilbur Mathes on May 7, 1976. Janet and Wilbur settled on a farm south of Columbia.
Janet worked as the postmaster in the Dallas Post Office until her retirement. She considered her customers like a second family and enjoyed sharing in their ups and downs as they picked their mail up every day. As the daughter of a farmer Janet grew to love the outdoors. She loved the way God painted the birds and the music they provided. The color of the trees when fall was approaching. She could find the beauty in everything and everyone. She had a habit of picking up every rock she came across, just to study it and determine if it had a story to tell. As the daughter of a schoolteacher, she possessed a life-long love of reading and writing. This could be found in her extensive collection of books, along with the many notations she made on passages she could relate to or enjoyed.
Janet was a very proud mother and grandmother. Her pegboard was covered with any and all achievements they received. In addition, there were countless cards attached from the many friends she had joyfully shared her life with throughout the years. She enjoyed sharing her home with all the many visitors who would come to see Wilbur’s western collection. For several years Mrs. Galeazzi would bring her kindergarten classes to Janet’s house to see the horses, saddles, and stagecoach. Janet would share the excitement with the children on these visits, which was evidenced from the many photo albums she kept remembering these happy times. She used to say the only thing better than good book was sitting on the bank of a pond watching the grandkids bobber bouncing on a sunny afternoon. She could often be found on her old porch with a pair of binoculars watching the wildlife as they danced and played. She never missed a birthday celebration or a chance to spend time with family and friends. When one thinks of the word grandma, she fit the description in every way.
Janet took great joy in helping anyone in need, even the pesky squirrel she tried so hard to keep out of her bird feeders. In the end she decided he must have been down on his luck because she added a feeder just for him and took great joy in watching the squirrel and the birds come visit outside her kitchen window every morning.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents, Heyke and Alice, mother and father-in-law Ray and Alice Mathes, husbands Arend and Wilbur, brother Charlie Poppinga, sister-in- law Sylvia Poppinga, sister Mary Mitchell, brother-in-law Gene Mitchell, sister Helene Neer, sister Elva Johnson, brother-in-law Herb Johnson, brother and sister-in-law Bill and Junella Fee, and stepdaughter Jill Mathes.
Those left to cherish her memory are brother-in-law Gerald (Carol) Mathes of Melcher-Dallas, son Arend Gene (Pam) Mathes of Melcher Dallas, son Don (Glenda) Mathes of western Iowa, daughter Charlotte (Lyndon) Schrader of Columbia, Wilbur’s children Barry (Cathy) Mathes of Pennsylvania, Wesley (Julie) Mathes of Madrid, Iowa and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.