LaNel Willa (Strong) Jacobs, age 93, ended her earthly journey on Friday, June 3, 2022 at Cottage Grove Place Health Center in Cedar Rapids with her loving son and daughter at her side.
A visitation will be held in the Gathering Space at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, June 8 from 9 AM until service time at 10 AM with Pastor Sherrie Ilg officiating. Inurnment to follow at St. Paul’s Columbarium.
LaNel was a very compassionate and caring person. She spent her life putting others’ needs before her own. When her children were young LaNel often took them along to help people who were less fortunate. In her very late eighties she was still helping people in need, and assisting in church activities. She taught her children to live their lives like her—by keeping their hearts open and caring about how their actions affected others. Those who have been touched by her generous spirit will always remember the love and kindness she showed them.
LaNel was born on August 12, 1928 in Garden Grove, IA. She was the daughter of the late Reverend William Chester and Rena Bell (Wise) Strong. She attended schools in Spirit Lake and Estherville, IA. She graduated with honors from Estherville High School in 1945. She married Eugene Knepper in 1948 and they lived in Des Moines until 1951 when they moved to Cedar Rapids. She was a longtime member of St. Paul’s for over 70 years where she was a youth counselor, Sunday school teacher, member of Women’s Society and Abigail Circle. She was a member of the Kum Double Class as well. LaNel was also a 50 year member of the L.F. Chapter of PEO. She belonged to the Hesperian Book Club and the Joy Family Bible Study Group. She also worked as a counselor for the Diet Center.
LaNel and Eugene divorced and she married Arnold Jacobs in 1998. They enjoyed nearly 10 year’s together until his death in 2007.
Those left to cherish LaNel’s memory are her children, Kristin Knepper (Wayne Swanson) of Cedar Rapids, IA and Kenton Knepper of Phoenix, AZ, her sister, Beverly Toland of Colorado, niece, Susan Coons of Des Moines, and numerous other nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her second husband, Arnold Jacobs, her parents, and her siblings, Kendall Strong, Meredith Strong, Webster Strong, Berkley Strong, Miriam Yager, and Mildred Hansen.
LaNel loved her family, people of all ages, flowers, birds, walking, and entertaining friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to St. Paul’s UMC.
The family would like to thank the Cottage Grove Place Health Center Staff, especially Mary and Ethan, for all the love and support they showed LaNel while she was in their care. A special thank-you to St. Croix Hospice for making her last days peaceful and pain-free.