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Jeanne Ellyn Kerr-Biehler

December 31, 2023 - 00:00
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  • Jeanne Ellyn Kerr-Biehler

Jeanne Ellyn Kerr-Biehler passed away Dec. 2, 2023, in Emmett, Idaho. She was born Nov. 17, 1928, in Lookeba to Snow Burdsall Kerr and Isabelle V. Stroud-Kerr. During the Great Depression the small family of three moved to the farm close to Omega.

During the Land Run of 1889, E.C. Kerr, Snow Kerr’s father, made the run and staked his claim to 160 acres of land. It was desirable land, having a creek which provided water for cattle and horses. Jeanne Ellyn was an only child until her dear brother Larry came along in August 1938.

Being alone until Larry arrived, Jeanne roamed the countryside.

There was a watermelon patch on the land which enabled Jeanne to pick a ripe one and cool it off in the close-by creek. Until the day of her demise, Jeanne loved the taste of watermelon. She graduated from Omega High School.

During the fall of 1946, she enrolled in college at Stillwater.

The following summer she met James Jason Merrill and they were married on Dec. 23, 1948.

Their daughter, Karon, was born March 4, 1949.

The marriage did not survive and ended in a divorce. Jeanne Ellyn and John M. Biehler were joined in marriage on Jan. 15, 1950.

The happy marriage lasted for 57 years until John’s untimely death. During the early years of John and Jeanne’s marriage, it was difficult to make a living on rented farm ground. This prompted Jeanne to enter college in Weatherford, where she received a bachelor of science degree in May 1958.

After graduating, she taught school in Lacy, Loyal and Kingfisher. Teaching wages in Oklahoma were low and the small family of three moved to Beaumont, Calif., in January 1964.

Her daughter, Karon, enrolled in the Beaumont school system where she graduated from high school in 1967.

During the summer vacation time, Jeanne attended Northern Arizona University where she received a master of arts degree in 1968.

During the time Jeanne attended NAU, Dr. Foster, an education specialist, arranged a trip to visit Russian schools.

The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Hermitage, also known as the Palace of Catherine the Great, which is in St. Peters, Russia.

Its magnificence is beyond description. Within it are paintings by the world’s greatest artists. Jeanne spent 25 years in the teaching field.

One of the greatest, yet humbling statements was made to Jeanne when she was undergoing treatment in the local hospital. A former student, who was approximately 25 years old, approached Jeanne and said, “Mrs. Biehler, I have used, during my adult lifetime, all of the business skills that you taught to me.”

Following her teaching career, Jeanne traveled to various countries with her friend Venetta Kell.

Jean and John resided in Banning, Calif., for numerous years.

While Karon was still at home, the three enjoyed exploring the mountain trails of Mt. San Gorgonio and Mt. San Jacinto, riding their dirt bikes.

Meadow View in Emmett, Idaho, became Jeanne’s home in her later years. Living in Emmett allowed Jeanne to become even closer to her lovely Kienitz family.

How precious they are! The Good Lord has blessed me with my wonderful daughter Karon and her precious family. May the Good Lord keep them safe from all harm.

Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and great-grandson, Jace Vawter.

She is survived by her daughter, Karon (John) Kienitz; grandchildren, Beth (Grant) Carter, Amy (John D.) Girvin and Chris (Sarah Houtz) Kienitz; great-grandchildren Jordan, Rose, Devin, Kyler; and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, at the Watonga IOOF Cemetery.

Come-and-go-viewing will be held at Wilson Funeral Home Kingfisher from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4.