Appleton – Our young-at-heart, spunky, centenarian husband & dad, Elton “Elt” Jandrey, 100, began his eternal journey on Saturday, September 2, 2023. Though his spirit would have stayed with us for another 100 years, his heart was tired & he passed very peacefully. Elton was born Nov 8, 1922, on the family farm, Faro Springs Rd, near Hilbert, WI, to parents, Adolph & Alma (Lautenschlager) Jandrey, and was baptized on Dec 3, 1922.
After his father’s early passing when Elt was 8, his mother & 5 children moved to Appleton. She later married widower, John Bauhs, Sr., who also had 5 children, and together they had a son to make 11. Elt attended St. Paul Lutheran School and graduated from Appleton H.S. (now Appleton West) in 1940.
After high school, Elt began his career with Service Bakery, starting as home service route salesman. That path was interrupted by WWII. In 1943 he began his military service in the Naval Air Corp with preliminary college at Maryville, MO; Naval cadet flight training at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA; continued at Corpus Christi, TX; operational training as Ensign A1 in Opalocka, FL; flight instruction training on SBD dive bombers in New Orleans; LT (JG) (A3) Navy pilot & flight instructor in Memphis, TN, until discharge in 1947. Elt continued his service in the Naval Reserves until 1951.
Elt met Eleanor “Ellie” Schneider during the summer after graduating high school, when she was 16 and worked at Unmuth’s Drug Store on Wisconsin Avenue. He & his buddies would stop by for a sundae after playing basketball or baseball behind St. Therese’s Catholic Church across the street. Cadets were not allowed to marry, so Elt & Ellie eventually married during a few hours between navy flights in New Orleans on Sept 30, 1944 after Elt was commissioned as an officer.
Their first child, Brian Leroy, was born with serious health issues in 1947 while Elt was stationed in Memphis, TN. Elt decided to forgo a commercial airlines career after military service for that reason. He & Ellie returned to Appleton with their newborn son. Ellie began her lifetime gift & calling of motherhood while Elt returned to the Service Bakery which was purchased by CJ Patterson Co of Kansas City MO in 1951.
Sadly, Elt & Ellie’s son died in 1949 at the age of 2-1/2. Their first daughter Barbara Lynn was born 2 months later, and their second daughter, Becky Lee, arrived in 1951.
Elton’s career with the Patterson Co continued until his retirement in the mid 1980’s. As he rose from route salesman to sales manager, plant manager, and eventually general manager, his job took the family briefly to Oklahoma City, 15 years in Phoenix, and finally 28 years in Houston. During their 43 years in warmer climates, Elt & Ellie enjoyed golfing & the company of friends at their favorite local pub. After retirement, Elt took advantage of being able to golf more than just Saturdays and looked forward to their annual summer vacations back to Appleton where he thoroughly enjoyed time with his siblings & cousins, fishing, golfing, playing sheepshead & “scot”, and fish fries at the Darboy Club. Happy hours were just that!
In 2002, Elt & Ellie moved “home” to Appleton where they have enjoyed the pleasant summers and the snowy winters from inside their warm apt. Elt was bright, funny & oh so endearing, especially the older he became. Having been such a guys’ guy in the first half of his life, he always loved visits
from “the girls”, his grandson & family, and having fun with his family of nieces & nephews who were so welcoming to him & Ellie.
Elt’s healthy life had a hiccup when he was 85, but he said if he could just make it to 86, he’d be fine. His goal then became to hit 100….which he did on November 8, 2022. He & Ellie resided happily at Parkside Apts on Lake Park Drive for nearly 20 years where neighbors, Bill & Barb Alft, became helpful, caring friends. Elt & Ellie moved to Renaissance Assisted Living the beginning of 2022. They have been members of Faith Lutheran Church in Appleton for over 20 years.
Though he had some setbacks beginning in 2020, Elt was determined to keep going. His life force was strong & his determination was steady. His triumph would not have taken place without the continued care & support of his long-time physician, Dr Douglas Meyer, Primary Care Assoc. and now retired nurses Teri & Sherry, and Dr. Melissa Romatz, Valley Eye Clinic. The ER doctors & nurses at ThedaCare Regional Medical Centers in Appleton & Neenah gave Elt the best professional care which he needed a number of times in recent years. He has also received dedicated attention from Cathy Shine, APNP at NeuroScience Group, Jamie Lodes, APNP from ThedaCare Senior Services, the wonderful nursing staff Faye, Brenna & Jadyn at Renaissance Assisted Living and oh so many dedicated caregivers & staff members there. If we named them all, some would surely be inadvertently missed….just know that each one of you (especially Steffi) made a difference in Elt’s & our family’s lives. You know who you are…..we love you all!
With a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes, a sly grin, & a quick remark, Elt won over the hearts of his devoted therapists at Renaissance….a special thank you to PTs Erin & Rebecca, OT Rachel, and ST Kim. You helped our dad beyond measure and we can’t thank you enough! His last few days were lived out at Rennes Health & Rehab where the staff did a remarkable job of welcoming Elt and our family as well as helping us say goodbye….angels are everywhere around us!
Elt is survived by his wife of almost 79 years, Ellie, daughters Barbara Nelson, Appleton, and Becky (Doug Bowers) Jandrey, grandson Keith (Sherry) Nelson, great granddaughter, Shelby Nelson, Round Rock, TX, and brother Cyril (Audrey) Jandrey, Menominee, WI. Elt is further survived by sisters-in-law Vi Bauhs, Albuquerque NM and Hildegard Bauhs, and a slew of nieces & nephews who have delighted him through the years as well as dear friends from their days in Houston, Ginny Toliver and Joe Parker.
In addition to his parents, Elt was preceded in death by his son Brian Leroy Jandrey, mother-in-law Mary Schneider, brothers Leroy (Ruth) Jandrey and Kenneth Bauhs, sisters Arlene (Al) Starck and Verone (Warren) Wieseler, step-father John Bauhs Sr, step-siblings John Bauhs, Leonard Bauhs, Norman Bauhs, Margaret Schuh , and Leola Eastman.
A private burial will be officiated by Pastor Dan Thews, Faith Lutheran Church, at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton. To honor Elt’s memory, stay positive, bring a smile to someone’s face, or make someone laugh…he would like that! In lieu of flowers, you may give to a cause benefitting veterans, a local hospice group, or a charity of your choice.
Packer games won’t be the same without you, Pop, Gramps, Uncle Elt! We love you with all our hearts….see you later!