Jan Hollenbeck

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

April 17, 1939-July 6, 2024


Jan Pearse Hollenbeck, 85, of Cassopolis, passed away on Saturday, July 6, 2024. He was born in Dowagiac in 1939 to Pearse and Ina (Keesler) Hollenbeck.
Jan is preceded in death by his wife, and love of his life, Mary (Gebhard) Hollenbeck. Also preceding him are stepdaughter Susan Walker and her husband, Bruce Walker; brothers-in-law Ellis Kreider and James Gebhard; and sister-in-law, Madra Hollenbeck.
Surviving loved ones include daughter, Terri Connett; stepson Richard (Paula) Wasylenko; stepdaughter Jeannie (Jeff) Duncan; sisters Patsy (Hollenbeck) Kreider and Vicki (Hollenbeck) Wright; brother Gary Hollenbeck and sister-in-law Ardyce Gebhard. He leaves behind beloved grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and lifelong friend, George Spencer.
Jan graduated from Cassopolis High School in 1958. A year later than planned due to a horrific car accident when Jan was 17. He miraculously survived and thrived to later farm corn, soybeans and hay – until a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis forced him off his red International Harvester tractor. For a brief period, Jan worked at Heddon Bait and Lure Company of Dowagiac, where he made so many good friends.
Due to the debilitating effects of his MS, Jan moved to Cass County Medical Care Facility in 2010. But self-pity and “what if’s” were never part of his DNA. Rather, Jan accepted what life dealt him with humor, dignity and grace. He loved to make people laugh and developed a huge following of residents, families of residents, staff, vendors, really anybody who encountered him. His quick wit became legend. His jokes, his made-up language, and goofy songs will linger in the building for a long while. There he leaves behind an amazing “family” of CNAngels, nurses, activity aids, housekeeping and maintenance workers, physical therapists, kitchen and laundry staff. Or as he called it, his “home away from home.” CCMCF.
Funeral services for Jan will be held at 12 p.m., on Friday, July 12, 2024, at Clark Chapel-Starks Family Funeral Homes, 405 Center St, Dowagiac, where friends may visit with the family from 11 a.m., until the time of services. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Dowagiac. Memorial contributions in Jan’s name may be directed to Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (mymsaa.org) or Centrica Care Navigators (Hospice). Please visit Jan’s personalized webpage to share a memory or leave a condolence to his family at www.clarkch.com