Sarah Labanowsky

Jan Labanowsky

Sunday, December 26th, 1920 - Saturday, December 21st, 2019
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Sarah Janella “Jan” Labanowsky, of Kenosha, passed away on Saturday, December 21, 2019, five days short of her 99th birthday.

She was the youngest of John G. and Emma R. (Leininger) Cooper’s ten children; Jan was born on the family farm near Ames, Iowa on December 26, 1920. As a farmer’s daughter, growing up during the Great Depression, she remembered the excitement of the installation of the first light bulb in her house. Jan was raised with a work ethic that carried with her throughout her life.

A graduate of Napier Consolidated School, Jan went on to earn a nursing degree at Mt. Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After graduation, and with World War II in full swing, Jan offered her nursing skills to the American Red Cross. They told her the greatest need was with the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She proudly served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade Naval Officer, caring for soldiers and their families in both Norman, Oklahoma and Oakland, California. When the war ended Jan moved to Milwaukee to further her education at Marquette University where she met her future husband.

Jan married Charles J. Labanowsky, Jr. on Monday, October 6, 1947 at The Church of the Sacred Heart in Boone, Iowa.

After getting married and moving to Kenosha, she worked at Kenosha Hospital and then at St. Catherine’s Hospital, while raising her three children. Jan subsequently worked as an office nurse for several community physicians, retiring in 1991 when Dr. Charles Pechous, Jr., retired his practice.

This provided her with the opportunity to volunteer for community organizations such as the Kenosha Public Museum, R.S.V.P. (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Aurora Hospital, United Hospital System and St. Mary’s Catholic Parish. She received many recognition awards from the organizations she served, for over 20 years.

Jan had a strong commitment to her faith and was actively involved in the Catholic Women’s Club, and she supported her parish in many ways such a daily Mass, religious education, prayer groups, calling bingo at the church festivals and never failing to make cookies or a pan of brownies for a bake sale. She even donated her winnings from bingo at her assisted living home to St. Mary’s.

She was happiest being busy, and enjoyed Picard china painting, sewing (especially her daughters’ ballet costumes and matching dresses), playing bridge, strumming her ukulele with Seeger’s Senior Strings, singing with the Charismatic A Cappella Choir, traveling, crocheting afghans and baby hats, decorating for and celebrating all of the holidays. Jan always made heart-shaped pizza for her family on Valentine’s Day and cherry pie on George Washington’s Birthday.

Jan was known for her great faith, her laughter, her sense of humor and joy in celebrating with family and friends, all of which will be greatly missed.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles, on June 23, 2002, her parents and all of her siblings. She is survived by her children, Mary (Tom) Becker, Charles Labanowsky III, and Cecilia Lucas.

In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren, Jennifer Becker, Steven (Valerie) Becker, Sara (Nick) Oxborough, Michael Labanowsky, Peter Labanowsky, Brian Lucas, and Rebecca Lucas. She is further survived by her four great-grandchildren, Anna and Kate Becker, and Hudson and Cooper Oxborough.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Catholic church, 7307 40th Avenue Kenosha, WI 53142, on Monday, December 30th at 11:00 a.m. Visitation with the family will be held at church prior from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. with a brief Nurses service before Mass starts. Interment will follow at St. James Cemetery with military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial remembrances to St. Mary Catholic Church, Hospice Alliance, 10220 Prairie Ridge Blvd. Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158, or the charity of your choice.

The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude to the staff at Library Terrace for the wonderful care they have given to Jan for over five years.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit & Sign Jan’s Online Memorial Book at:
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, December 30th, 2019 | 9:30am - 10:45am
    Monday, December 30th, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am
    St. Mary Catholic Church
    7307-40th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53142
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    At 10:45 the Nurses Honor Guard will perform a service, followed by a eulogy prior to Mass.
  • Service

    Monday, December 30th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Monday, December 30th, 2019 11:00am
    St. Mary Catholic Church
    7307-40th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53142
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father Roman Stikel
  • Interment

    Monday, December 30th, 2019 | 12:15pm
    Monday, December 30th, 2019 12:15pm
    St. James Cemetery
    7002-7th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53143
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Military Honors


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Diane Istvanek

Posted at 05:40pm
Dear Charlie & family,
My deepest condolences on the loss of your dear mother. May you be blessed with support and love from friends, family and those around you.
Diane Istvanek

Mark Heinzen

Posted at 04:15pm
My sincerest condolences to family and friends. 99 years of memories, that's quite a life!

Lill Hauschild

Posted at 11:48am
I met Jan thru her husband, Charlie, whom I worked along side for many years, a lovely lady, my deepest condolences to the whole family, Lill Hauschild

National Dizzy and Balance Center

Posted at 12:40pm
Thoughts and condolences to the Labanowsky and extended family and friends.
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National Dizzy and Balance Center purchased the Peaceful White Lilies Basket for the family of Jan Labanowsky.


Olga McKenna

Posted at 11:55am
Dearest family, Sincere condolences and oceans of love, light and blessings to Aunt Jan and all. Best, Pat, Olga, Daniela, & Juliana McKenna
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