Jean Ann (Wibe) Luithle, 84, Bismarck, ND, passed away March 28, 2023, after complications from a stroke.
A funeral service will be held 10:30 AM, Monday, April 3, at Evangel church, 3225 N 14th St, Bismarck.
Visitation will be held from 3-5:00 PM, Sunday, April 2, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Pkwy, Bismarck. A time of sharing will begin at 3:00 PM.
Interment will be held at 3:00 PM at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
She was born on June 9, 1938, the first child of Iver and Florence (Peterson) Wibe in Cando, ND.
Her constant companion in childhood was her small dog, Penny. He was named that because she told someone who asked the dog’s name, “Mom says he’s not worth a plug penny.”
Jean played “first chair” clarinet in band, sang alto in various choral groups, and was active in Future Homemakers of America at Bisbee High School, graduating as valedictorian of her senior class in 1956. The week after graduation, she traveled to Minneapolis to find a job and earn money to attend college. She earned a degree in Executive Administrator from Dakota Business College in Fargo in 1958. She then worked as a bookkeeper at GMAC in Fargo for more than three years.
Jean and her roommate (also her future sister-in-law) hosted a young adults Bible study at their apartment one night and Jean answered the door to greet a stranger, Eugene Luithle, who had been invited by a mutual friend on his first day in town. Jean and Eugene were soon dating and married on August 19, 1961. They made their home in West Fargo, until moving to the family farm between Mott and Richardton in 1962. Two children, Marcia and Michael, were born to the couple. For the holidays, Jean sewed new dresses for Marcia and patiently sewed clothes for her Barbie dolls as well.
In 1970, the family moved to a farm between Wilton and Regan where they lived until moving to Bismarck in 2001. Jean was active in the Regan Assembly of God church as a Sunday School and VBS teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, church pianist, and sang in women’s trios. For church suppers, she was always asked to bring her crispy home-grown dill pickles.
In addition to working as a farmwife, Jean worked part-time as the business manager of the Regan School District from 1981 through 2003.
In Bismarck, Jean became a member of Evangel church where she served as a nursery worker, kitchen helper, and greeter. In her retirement she also enjoyed being a Mentor Mom for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) for over 6 years.
Some of her favorite memories were of times spent with her grandsons. She spoke of playing blocks with Jeffrey, struggling with a car seat harness while Christian patiently waited to be free, and of pushing Timothy’s stroller around her neighborhood to keep him entertained. Her family and friends could always count on her to pray for them every day.
Jean enjoyed reading, dogs, popcorn, people watching, and playing her grandmother’s piano. She enjoyed refinishing furniture and enjoyed restoring things to their original beauty. Jean recycled before recycling was the thing to do, because her parents had lived through the depression era. She was a good listener and even strangers sometimes turned to her for comfort and advice.
Jean is survived by one daughter, Marcia Francis of Bismarck, ND; one son and daughter-in law, Michael and Monica Luithle, of Cleveland, TN; three grandsons, Jeffrey, Christian (Macy) and Timothy Luithle, all of Cleveland, TN; one brother, Ivan Wibe of Bisbee, ND; a brother and sister-in-law, Erwin and Phyllis Luithle of Spanaway, WA.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Iver and Florence Wibe, and her husband, Eugene Luithle.