Jane Elizabeth Griffith

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Jane Elizabeth (Paa) Griffith was born March 23, 1945, to Joseph J. Paa and Catherine Leola  (Murphy) Paa in Sioux Falls, SD. She graduated from Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School, class of 1963.Jane then completed degrees in Child Development and Family Relations and Home Economics Education from South Dakota State University in 1968.

She married Robert Griffith in 1967, in St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls.They had three children: Mary Kelley (Tim), Jacksonville, FL, children Austin, Alexa, Aidan, Andrew; Joseph (Chasity), Waukon, IA, children Katelynn, Lauren, Regan, Ryan;  Katherine Koehn (Reid), Elkader, IA, children Rose and Tristen.
Jane and Bob lived in Elkader the first three years after college. During those years Jane began her teaching career, teaching first kindergarten and later High School Home Economics at Central Community Schools. The couple then moved to DeWitt, IA for six years where Jane continued to teach Home Economics and begin the process of raising their children. Jane and Bob returned to Elkader in 1978, to purchase the Clayton County Register, which they continued to publish for over 20 years.

She was quietly generous with her time and resources and remained a teacher her entire life. Whether volunteering at church, Elkader preschool, PEO, the Opera House, or one of the many other organizations with which she was involved, she taught by example. Jane was willing to take charge and ensure a project was completed correctly.   

Throughout her many years in Elkader, Jane was a dedicated member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Her roles within the church included: guild president and later guild purchasing agent, chair of the annual church dinner, CCD teacher, organizing and serving meals at CEW retreats, lector, Eucharistic minister and Eucharistic minister coordinator.

In addition to Jane’s active work within the St. Joseph community, she served on the Elkader City Council, the Elkader Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Elkader Pre-school Board. She was an active Main Street Elkader promoter and was once named Volunteer of the Year. For many years Jane was a member of PEO chapter BZ and held multiple offices and responsibilities within the sisterhood. One of her favorite ways to share her sewing skills was through the Opera House Players. Jane never turned down the challenge of turning a costume “vision” into reality.  

Jane’s many friendships developed through her civic and church involvement. Some of her favorite activities were shopping trips, birthday breakfasts, and Fit-N-Flex exercise class at the Elkader Fitness Center.  If you asked her, Jane would probably say the best part of exercise class was the coffee afterward.    
    After her grandchildren joined the family they became the focus of Jane’s life. Sewing Halloween costumes, baking cookies and shopping for Christmas gifts evolved into some of her favorite Grandma “jobs.”  She loved spending time with them and being an active part of their lives through cheering at sporting events, prom dress shopping, and - once she got an iPhone - sending many, many text messages full of grandmotherly love and wisdom.
    Survivors include her husband, Robert; children, Mary, Joseph and Katherine; grandchildren, Austin, Alexa, Aidan and Andrew Kelley, Katelynn, Lauren, Regan and Ryan Griffith, Rose and Tristen Koehn and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Leola and Joseph Paa, her brother and sister-in-law, James and Kay Paa.
    Jane touched many lives during her time with us. While we will miss her terribly her legacy lives on through the lessons she taught us all. It’s now our responsibility to show her spirit in our words and deeds.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Elkader. There will be a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at the funeral home and after 10 at the church on Wednesday. Inurnment will be at East Side Cemetery, Elkader, Iowa.

Leonard Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com


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