Janice Fay Ladendorf (nee Friedrich), of St. Charles, Missouri, passed away Sunday, January 29, 2023, at the age of 78. Loving wife of Gene Ladendorf; beloved daughter of the late Carl and Emma Friedrich; devoted mother of Jana (David) Leppien and Mark (Christine Mrakotsky) Ladendorf; cherished grandmother of Meagan (Brandon) Poole, Hannah (Caleb) Seidel, Emma Leppien, Caroline Ladendorf, Stefan Ladendorf and the late Seth Leppien; treasured great-grandmother of Mabel Poole and one on the way; dear sister of Karen (Bruce) Finne, James (Jessica) Friedrich and William (Jan) Friedrich; sister-in-law of Robert Ladendorf and aunt to many.
Jan was born on December 17, 1944, in Bagley, Minnesota. She was baptized by her father, a Lutheran minister. Jan spent her early years in Rosemount, Minnesota, until she was 14 and her family moved to Wessington Springs, South Dakota, where she graduated from high school in 1962. She married the love of her life Gene Ladendorf on August 5, 1967.
In growing up, Jan liked “playing school.” She always played the teacher and made her siblings sit in spare desks, which were stored in the family’s chicken coop, as she taught them.
Jan earned her B.Ed. in Elementary Education from Concordia St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966 and her M.S. in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, in 1981.
Jan spent 35 years in the teaching ministry. She primarily taught 2nd grade but could also be found in 3rd, 4th, and even the 6th grade classroom. Her first assignment was at St. John Lutheran School in Rogers City, Michigan. She was there only one year when she joined her new husband, Gene, at Trinity Lutheran, Worden, Illinois, where she taught 1st – 4th grade and he taught 5th – 8th grade and served as principal. From Worden, Jan and Gene moved to Holy Cross Collinsville where she began teaching again from 1976 through 1982. In 1982, Jan and Gene and family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Jan taught at Elm Grove Lutheran. Then in 1991, Jan and Gene moved to Bronxville, New York, and Jan joined the teaching staff at the Chapel School adjacent to Concordia College Bronxville.
From New York, Jan and Gene moved to Texas where Jan served as a teacher at Prince of Peace in Carrollton and then Holy Cross in Dallas until they returned to Wisconsin in 2003. Jan remained at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa until she retired in 2007. She was a member of the Lutheran Educators Association.
Jan’s faith was important to her, and she was very involved in her church. She sang in the choir and was even a member of the Lutheran Radio Choir. She participated in various Bible studies at church and volunteered her time in the church office at Trinity Lutheran Freistadt. Wisconsin. She was the recording secretary for the Lutheran Special School (LSSES) Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. She was a longtime member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). Jan served as president of LWML at Trinity Lutheran Freistadt, where she was a zone member of the Board of Directors, a delegate to the National Convention, and served as secretary for the Executive Committee. After moving to St. Charles, Missouri, in 2020, Jan quickly got involved at Breeze Park where she was President of their LWML chapter, served on the Executive Committee, was a member of the Gardening Committee and served as a Floor Rep.
Jan loved her grandchildren and enjoyed trips to the family cabin in Webster, Wisconsin, and spending time with them every chance she got. She loved to play games and had a running Yahtzee tournament with her grandson Stefan that included a traveling trophy.
Jan loved socializing with her friends at Breeze Park, swimming, and volunteering her time. She enjoyed scrapbooking, which she viewed as making smaller bulletin boards, baking for any occasion, and was an avid reader.
Jan was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She was a mentor to many new teachers, guided numerous student teachers, and is fondly remembered by her students.
Memorials may be made in Jan’s name to Lutheran Women's Missionary League or any Lutheran school of donor’s choice.
Baue Funeral Homes is currently following CDC recommendations regarding mask and social distancing policies.