Cover photo for Ellen Janell Roberts's Obituary
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1937 Ellen 2024

Ellen Janell Roberts

October 19, 1937 — January 18, 2024

Ellen Janell Roberts, the daughter of Rasmus and Alma Marie (Peters) Nielsen, was born at her parents’ home on October 19, 1937, near Marne, Iowa and died January 18, 2024, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, Iowa at the age of 86 years, 2 months, and 29 days.

Janell was baptized and confirmed. She started school in Elk Horn, Iowa and since her family moved several times, she graduated from the Irwin High School in Irwin, Iowa with the Class of 1956. After graduating, she worked in Harlan at Norgaard’s Drug Store.

On November 8, 1958, she was united in marriage to Jefferson “J.R.” Roberts at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, Iowa. They were blessed with three children Jeffrey Curtis, Jane Marie, and Jason Ashley. Janell worked at several businesses until she opened her own dress shop in Exira. They sold the farm and moved into Exira in 1986. They purchased J.R.’s Lounge and Café in Brayton in 1987. They operated the business until they retired and sold it in 2002. During retirement they enjoyed going to Texas in the winters.

Janell was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church. She Always enjoyed entertaining during the 4th of July.

Preceding her in death was her husband Jefferson “J.R.” Roberts; her son Jeffrey Curtis Roberts; her parents; and her and her siblings, Elmer and wife Pat Nielsen; Alice and husband Harold Winther; Virgil Nielsen; Irene and husband Emmert Hansen; Donna Byriel, Marvin Nielsen; Don Nielsen; Jean and Fred Loudenslager.

Survivors include her children Jane and husband Scott Houchins of Exira, Iowa; and, Jason and wife Shelly Roberts of Adair, Iowa; 5 grandchildren: Charlie and wife Selene Knudsen of Des Moines, Iowa; April and husband Ryan Schrage of Parkersburg, Iowa; Cody and wife Kyrstee Roberts of Adair, Iowa; Jennifer and husband Jake Burns of Polk City, Iowa; and Jaclyn Schmidt of Ankeny, Iowa; 5 great-grandchildren: Charles Knudsen of Des Moines, Iowa; Rylie Schrage and Reygan Schrage both of Parkersburg, Iowa; Jacob and Theo Burns both of Polk City, Iowa; her brother and sisters Mary Jane Steenhusen of Irwin, Iowa; Laurel Nielsen of Audubon, Iowa; Dee Anderson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Veronica Roberts of Castle Rock, Colorado; nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.

The family will meet with friends on Tuesday morning, January 23, 2024, from 9:30 until the time of the service at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, Iowa. Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Kelley Pedersen on Tuesday morning, January 23, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, Iowa. Interment will be in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The honorary casket bearers will be Dean Weber, Dwain Thompson , Arnie Bintner, Floyd Hackwell, Kent Paulsen and John Osvald . The casket bearers will be Charlie Knudsen, Cody Roberts, April Schrage, Jake Burns, Ryan Schrage and Charles Knudsen.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

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Service

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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Burial

Exira Cemetery

, Exira, IA 50076

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