Cover photo for Karsje "Jennie" Rohrbach's Obituary
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1931 Karsje "jennie" 2020

Karsje "Jennie" Rohrbach

May 15, 1931 — November 12, 2020

Karsje “Jennie” Rohrbach, 89, of Ellendale, ND died November 12, 2020 at Prince of Peace Care Center, Ellendale. A memorial service will be 10am Saturday, March 20, 2021 at Church of the Nazarene, Ellendale with Pastor Tim Brown officiating. Burial will be at Ellendale City Cemetery. Arrangements by Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale. Karsje "Jennie" Loots Rohrbach was born May 15, 1931 in Amsterdam, Holland (Netherlands) to Ijsbrand & Johanna Hamersma Loots. She was no stranger to hard times as she grew up in Amsterdam during the worst of times; World War Il. She was able to survive famine and diphtheria and received an 8th grade education. She did housekeeping and later became a tour guide in Amsterdam and came to meet the love of her life, Wilbert Rohrbach. They were married March 03, 1956 in Kaiserlautern, Germany, where he was stationed while in the U.S. Army. They moved to Eureka, CA after Wilbert was honorably discharged from the service. They had no sooner begun their family when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. By the grace of God, she overcame that to. They moved to the family farm in Long Lake, SD and later purchased the farm after his parents died. She helped raise the remaining siblings of Wilbert, In 1965, they sold the family farm and bought a farm north of Ellendale, ND and Jennie worked at the Ellendale Nursing Center. In 1968, they sold the farm and purchased another farm nine miles south of Forbes, ND where they made their home for the next 21 years. Over those years, she worked very hard. I remember many a night my mother staying up all night to sew our clothes or make a dress for us for Christmas. Jennie again sought employment at the Ellendale Nursing Home when her children were mostly grown. She worked there from 1982-2000. She loved her residents and took great pride in caring for them. There were many times if a resident couldn't sleep, she would just stay with them and hold their hand to bring them comfort. In 2000, she stopped working at the nursing home due to suffering a heart attack. Later, in 2000, she accepted part time employment at Starion Financial where she did custodial work and enjoyed bringing baked goods to all the employees. Over the years, she enjoyed gardening, canning goods, baking, sewing and most of all having picnics at Wylie Park and Storybook Land. Family was very important to her and she loved having family get togethers. She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were the highlight of her life. Most of all, she just enjoyed being a mother. Whether you were family or not, she mothered you. That was her true calling in life. She loved feeding people. If you worked at Wilbert's place, you were fed. Not just a sandwich either. She cooked a five or six course meal. Once a year, in the fall, us kids never had to bake pies or cookies for a year because she would get up at 3 or 4 in the morning and make 50 or 60 pies at once and the next day bake a ton of cookies. Then she would distribute them to the four of us. She always worried if we had enough to eat. She was always cooking something in large quantities for us kids. Wilbert grew quite ill the last years, and of course, she took exceptional care of her beloved Wilbert until he passed away May 23, 2013. A year later Jennie suffered a heart attack and fall which led to her becoming a resident at Prince of Peace Care Center in Ellendale. Alzheimer's soon followed and slowly erased her mind, but she still had her unforgettable smile and laugh and every once in awhile her sense of humor still came out as did her singing. She never forgot the words to all her favorite hymns. While at the nursing home, she fell in love with a baby doll and yes, in her mind, it was her baby and we got to see her motherly love all over again. That nurturing, motherly instinct branded in her so deep that even a disease such as Alzheimer's could not erase it. Ever so grateful and thankful to have had such a wonderful mother/grandmother/great grandmother/sister and to have shared in her life are her four children: Jack (Minneapolis, MN), Virginia (Aberdeen, SD), Dan & (Jonelle)(Warner, SD), Marge & (Michael)(Ellendale, ND), eight grandchildren: Casey & (Danielle), Kayla & (David), Brittany & (Tony) &, Brandon, Dustin, Cody & (Lisa) , Tasha & (Kelly), & Alisha & (Dustin) and 12 great grandchildren, one brother: Jan Loots, two sisters: Jopie & Fietje and several nieces/nephews, brother and sister in laws. She is preceded in death by her husband Wilbert, both parents: Ijsbrand & Johanna Loots, two sisters: Ansje & Nellie and one great grandson: Jerimiah.
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