Jennifer Shelley (Holth) Winkels
Jennifer Shelley (Holth) Winkels, 41, of Grand Forks, passed away Friday, September 8, 2017 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks. Jennifer was born April 13, 1976, in Grand Forks, the daughter of Rodney & Janelle (Olson) Holth. She grew up in Grafton, Minot, and eventually Grand Forks, where she graduated from Red River High School in 1994. She went on to receive degrees in sociology and social work from the University of North Dakota. Jennifer married the love of her life and best friend Josef Winkels on March 22, 2003. Together, they made their home in Grand Forks and welcomed their son Christian into the world on August 7, 2007. Raising Christian was one of Jennifer's greatest joys in life, and she advocated tirelessly for Christian to ensure that his diagnosis of autism was never a barrier to his success. Jennifer's passion for advocacy extended to her work at REM North Dakota where she cared for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for almost 20 years. She cared deeply for her clients and considered them family. Jennifer wore many hats - mother, daughter, sister, aunt, devoted friend, fierce advocate - and she brought the same passion and flair to each of those roles. There was never a question of whether Jennifer was around: her infectious smile and vibrant energy lit up every room she walked into. She told it like it was. She never spared an opinion, a hug, or an "I love you." Jennifer's passions were as colorful as her personality. She loved Elvis, Eighties hair bands, her Grandma Marlys's pickles, playing "princess" with her nieces, stories about her ancestors, the sitcom "Friends," and all things pink. But above all else, she loved her friends and family deeply and unconditionally, and she treasured holidays and special occasions when her loved ones would gather together. Those occasions will never be the same without Jennifer. Jennifer is survived by her husband, Joe, and son, Christian, of Grand Forks; parents Rod and Janelle Holth of Grand Forks; brother, Jonathan (Emily) Holth of Grand Forks, brother, Jeffrey (Netha Cloeter) Holth of Fargo; Parents-in-law, Tom (Mavis) Winkels of Queen Creek, AZ, and Carol Dean of Grand Forks; Brothers-in-law, Mike (Stacy) Winkels and Nathan Winkels of Grand Forks, and J.C. (Stephanie) Sarver of San Antonio, TX; grandmother, Dolores Olson of Grand Forks; nieces and nephews Sophia, Evelyn, Violet, and Auden Holth, Gage Baldock, and Zachary Sarver. She was preceded in death by her grandparents Marlys and Palmer Holth of Fairdale, North Dakota, Donald Olson of Grand Forks, and father-in-law Roger Dean of Minot.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the family for Christian's care.
FUNERAL SERVICE: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September 14, 2017 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.
VISITATION: Wednesday, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Amundson Funeral Home, 2975 S. 42nd St. Grand Forks, ND. Visitation will continue the hour prior to the service at the church.
A guestbook may be signed or viewed at www.amundsonfuneralhome.com