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Jane Kuemmerle


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Jane Kuemmerle was peacefully called to her heavenly home surrounded by her family on July 29, 2018, in Elyria, Ohio. Born Mary Jane Westendorf, on October 7, 1936, in Davenport, Iowa, to Anne and Everett Westendorf, she later moved to Roswell New Mexico where she raised her family for more 25 years.

Jane lived her life in service to God first, then family and then community. Raised Roman Catholic, she was very active in her church and faith, teaching religious education for 14 years and being involved throughout her life in the Altar and Rosary Society.

In Roswell, Jane was involved in the local PTA, Junior Women’s Club and Multiple Sclerosis Society. Jane was an active member of the local Altrusa Club holding office as President. It was during her service with Altrusa, Jane discovered a passion for Literacy. Jane was a founding member of the Roswell Literacy Council. Jane was involved in Literacy and English as a Second Language, tutoring and training tutors for more than 40 years. Her love of literacy was evident as she taught ESL both in the community and at her home, and tutored students for their GED tests.  She was known to also teach adults how to write a check, and build a resume. Through her literacy work, Jane helped adults from a variety of countries achieve their dream of U.S. citizenship. She volunteered in the New Mexico and Indiana prison systems, teaching inmates how to tutor literacy to other inmates. Jane’s service to Literacy did not go unnoticed. She received many awards as a volunteer, most notably the New Mexico Governor’s Award in 2000, a NM Outstanding Woman Award and the “God’s Hands” award for a decade of volunteering in St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital in Indianapolis.

Jane is survived by her children, Edward (Lora) Kuemmerle, Thomas (Patricia) Kuemmerle, William Kuemmerle, Catherine (Brian) Schnellinger, Barbara (Bernard) Hardy, Colleen (Tracy) Bass and her sister, Josephine Banks. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Jane was preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Anita Marie Kuemmerle, daughter-in-law, Joan Kuemmerle, granddaughter, Carol Jean Schnellinger, brother-in-law, William Banks and niece, Jean Apodaca.

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She will be deeply missed by her family, her church and the many individuals whose lives she touched with her service and dedication.

A rosary is set for 6:00 pm, Friday August 10, 2018 at Assumption Catholic Church, 2808 N Kentucky, Roswell, NM. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 11:00 am at Assumption Catholic Church with Fr. Jaroslaw “Jarek” Nowacki officiating. A private family burial with follow at South Park Cemetery where Jane will be laid to rest next to her daughter Anita who passed away in 1995.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Roswell Literacy Council, 609 West 10th, Roswell, NM 88201 or to Laubach Literacy International, 222 Waverly Ave, Syracuse, NY 13244-2010 under the name of Mary Jane Kuemmerle.

At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in….”

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