Janice Kaye (Simpson) VanWinkle, 82, of Smithville, MO, passed away Friday, March 27, 2020. She was born on December 7, 1937, to James Clarence and Ruby Faye (Hodge) Simpson in Anderson, Indiana, home of the Anderson Indians, where she attended school and grew up.
Jan married Robert Dye (deceased) in Anderson, Indiana in 1956, having four children together. Jan was a homemaker her entire life, raising her children, cooking and cleaning for her family.
In the early 1970s she took up bowling, a hobby that would take her to cities across the country and eventually leading her to" her Ronnie." On June 27, 1975, she was united in marriage to Ronnie Leonard VanWinkle. She and Ronnie made their home in Smithville for the remainder of their lives together. After a lingering illness, her dear husband passed away on February 6, 2011.
Jan quickly fell in love with Smithville and the people in it. She made lifelong friends there, including special friends who stepped in to help her with her daily living needs after Ronnie passed away. One of the things she loved about Smithville was her church family at Smithville Christian Church, where she was a longtime member.
She was the baby of nine siblings — the beautiful youngest child, born with blonde curly hair, who her siblings affectionately called "Janny." She often told stories of her older siblings loving and caring for her, ensuring she had all the things that she needed. Their love and affection for each other was unique. While growing up with little means, their house was full of love and laughter, blessed with a large, close-knit family. As the youngest, she endured the heartache of losing many family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, whom she adored; and her brothers, Maurice, Newton and Lindy Simpson; sisters, Merle Carey, Clarice Klepfer and Alice Taylor; and the tragic loss of her beloved daughter, Laura Craig; her infant son, Robert Kent; and her treasured grandson, Kyle VanWinkle.
Jan is survived by her children (who she viewed as her life's greatest accomplishments), Dean (Cindy) VanWinkle, Brad (Debbie) Dye and Beth (Terry) Cook; and her son-in-law, Steve Craig. She absolutely cherished her grandchildren, Kelly (Jeff) Lyon, Klint (Caitlin) VanWinkle, Cara (Tom) Massie, Cameron (Kesha) Craig, Brandon (Caridad) Dye, Alicia (Jake) Thomas, Brandon (Mindi) Dowell, Brooke (Paul) Ehrhardt and Kalyn, Kennedy, and Turner Cook; her sixteen great-grandchildren; as well as her sisters and best friends for life, June Alger and Betty Lawler; along with many nieces and nephews and a lifetime of devoted friends.
While Jan will be remembered for many things, her love of cooking and Hawaii are two of her hallmarks. The family will hold a private burial, surrounding her with tropical flowers, Hawaiian music and the spirit of aloha.
The family hopes to have a memorial celebration in the future for all who have loved Jan throughout her life. In the meantime, the family offers many thanks to those who have been a part of her life, with special gratitude to the staff of Oak Pointe of Kearney assisted living and Crossroads Hospice, who lovingly cared for her in her final days. We will miss gathering with you all in our time of grief and send you love and aloha from all of the VanWinkle family, …until we meet again.
The family requests donations to the First Christian Church of Smithville, 201 N. Bridge Street, Smithville, Mo., 64089. Private family burial at Greenlawn Cemetery, Plattsburg, MO. Arrangements by Hixson-Klein Funeral Home, Smithville.