In loving memory of

Jeanne C. Olmstead
August 2, 1922 - April 26, 2020

Jeanne Catherine (Schell) Olmstead, 97, of Winona, MN died peacefully, Sunday morning, April 26, 2020, at St. Anne Extended Healthcare Center in Winona.
Jeanne was born August 2, 1922 to Raymond and Helen (Speltz) Schell in the family farm home at Oak Ridge. She was the oldest of her three siblings, Elizabeth (Frank), Broomfield, CO, Charles (Rita), Winona, and Mary (Leo) Rowekamp, Lewiston.
Jeanne attended District 36 School, Mount Vernon Township; grade and high school at Holy Trinity, Rollingstone, graduated June 1, 1940; College of Saint Teresa, B.S. degree June 4, 1944; and Winona State College, M.S. degree July 20, 1969. She was a teacher at Holy Trinity Grade School; Alma, WI High School; Lourdes High School, Rochester; and Lewiston-Altura High School. On October 25, 1947, Jeanne and Roland "Ole" Olmstead of White Pine, MN, were married in Immaculate Conception Church, Oak Ridge. They have one daughter, Marilyn. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in St. Rose of Lima Church hall October 15, 1987. Jeanne assisted Ole in his Dairy Herd Improvement Association of Winona County. Ole died January 4, 1991. When Marilyn entered 9th grade, Jeanne resumed her teaching career of 23 years at the Lewiston-Altura High School.
She was a member of: St. Rose of Lima Parish, Lewiston; St. Nicholas and St. Teresa Catholic Aid Society; Council of Catholic Women; Mount Vernon 4-H Beacons Club (also a leader); Mount Vernon Rural Youth Group; Luxembourg Society, Rollingstone; Southeast Retired Educators Association of MN; Retired Educators of MN; lifetime member of the National Teachers Association; first female member of Lewiston's Planning Commission (secretary); Charter Member of Winona Cathedral's Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Group; member of Cathedral Quilters; Member of Catholic United Financial (formerly called Catholic Aid Association); Charter and life-long member of the Winona Friendship Center; Charter Member of Writing Your Life Class at Winona Friendship Center; served on Lewiston Senior Dining Council; and a member of knitting groups at Watkins Home, Callista Court, and the Friendship Center.
Her hobbies included knitting, crocheting, gardening, and being a sports fan (particularly baseball and basketball). She especially enjoyed writing social letters to numerous relatives and friends, including congratulatory messages for births, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, get well, and sympathy.
Jeanne is survived by her daughter, Marilyn Olmstead, and granddaughter, Marite' Olmstead of Winona. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Charles, an infant sister, Mary Helen, an infant brother, her husband, and her sister, Elizabeth.
A Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m., Saturday, August 1, 2020 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Lewiston. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Cards of Sympathy for the family may be mailed to Hoff Celebration of Life Center, 3480 Service Drive, Winona, MN 55987. Memorial contributions will be donated to Mayo Clinic COVID 19 Research. Please share a memory of Jeanne and view her video tribute at


Donna Lang wrote on Aug 1, 2020:

"Many happy memories with Jean and ole and Marilyn wonderful lady great teacher will be missed. Elroy and Donna Lang "

Greg ratajczyk wrote on Jul 16, 2020:

"I remember her from the Hallmark store. Lovely lady pleasant and conscientious on the gifts and cards she would purchase"

Connie Oldham wrote on Jul 16, 2020:

"Jeanne was a very dedicated teacher to her students; she gave you extra help if you didn\'t get it the first time. She was always kind with never a harsh word. Thoughts and prayers to the family"

Dan Reinboldt wrote on Jun 7, 2020:

"Mrs. Olmstead was a joy to be around. Her patience and grace in our classes was remarkable. I wished she could have taught my children. I am thankful that I was able to be part of her educational career "

Glenn Miller wrote on Jun 7, 2020:

"I have many great memories of Jeanne and Ole in the mid 1960\'s to early 70\'s. I was a student in her social studies class in one of the carpeted classroom next to the library at LHS. She was full of grace and kindness and well prepared with a mimeographed worksheet every day for us to fill in and learn history. That was the era when the miniskirt fad came to LHS and to some of the female classmates. I am thankful for her guidance in my life. My siblings were also in her class. I knew her also from St Rose of Lima church our family attended back then. Ole I remember as a faithful summer softball umpire for many years. I remember when Barb Schutz started work as the LHS librarian, I was in 9th grade and I had study hall in the Library with her, and I remember when Miss Estee Steen came and she taught me English class and possibly German since I took that class. Jeanne was full of grace and truth and was the great role model of the Proverbs 31 women. She touched so many lives with her legacy."

Barbara Schutz wrote on May 5, 2020:

"I first met Jeanne at Lewiston High School during the fall of 1969 when I joined the staff as high school librarian. How helpful she was that first year when I had so many new things to learn! She was a kind and caring person then and throughout her life.. Estee Stene Krueger, a former Lewiston English teacher and I often visited her during her years at her home in Winona and later at Callista Court and at St. Anne\'s. On our last visit a few months ago we enjoyed a conversation with her in the Chapel at St. Anne\'s where she was waiting for the daily service to begin. My deepest sympathy, Marilyn and Marite!"

Adele Sanders wrote on May 2, 2020:

"Sorry for your loss. Worked with your mom at the arches She always sent a card for our anniversary and our birthdays."

Kathy Prudoehl wrote on May 2, 2020:

"What beautiful words of tribute to your Mother and Grandmother and all of them true! She truly was a warm, caring, and loving mentor, teacher, and friend to students, fellow teachers, neighbors, and her dear family. She is home now with Ole and I bet they are both glad of that."

Roger Holm wrote on May 2, 2020:

"Roger Holm May 2, 2020 I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friend Jeanne Olmstead. I was lucky enough to be her student teacher in the fall of 1973. I couldn\'t have asked for a better mentor. She is the one that started me in my career in education. I will always have a special place in my heart for her."

Diane Ketchum Fishbaugher wrote on May 1, 2020:

"[Your mother was a lovely person. She was always ready to help & was very gracious to all. My sympathy Marilyn. Diane Ketchum Fishbaugher"

Sue Kreibich wrote on Apr 30, 2020:

"Marilyn and Marite\', We are still processing hearing such sad news. We know that Jeanne always put others ahead of herself. She was always so interested in what was going on with whomever she talked to. Jeanne was truly someone of many talents, from cooking, to flowers, to writing, and sending her wonderful cards. We enjoyed looking through the photo tribute of the many milestones of her life. We will be thinking of you both. Gale and Sue Kreibich"

Waltraud Maassen wrote on Apr 30, 2020:

"Marilyn,we are so sorry for your loss, your Mom was so awesome i gave her a hug when ever I visit my Husband on 2 nd Floor, she talk about you a lot.thinking of you all, at this time. Hugs Waltraud Maassen"

Pam Tesch wrote on Apr 30, 2020:

"She left a lasting memory on my life. I can still see her standing by the class room door on the top of the steps, on the highest level, northwest corner of the old Lewiston High building. She would wait for her students to enter the room, the bell to ring, she would close the door, turn and walk gracefully and slowly to the front of the room. She was dressed very nice, almost like she had taken her clothes off the outdoor line and and pressed her clothing, crisp and clean. Her hair and appearance immaculate. She always had a smile, a twinkle in her eye and sometimes a look of concern. I seem to remember she took attendance and then we started to learn. She had more pull down maps in her room than any other class I ever had in high school. She was patient, caring and seemed interested in every student. She made a sincere effort to make sure everyone succeeded in her class. She loved what she taught and because of her, I loved what she gave. I was like a sponge. It was a joy to learn. The amazing thing is I never saw her angry or upset. She taught 7th and 8th graders when I went to school, I think that would be a challenge. All through the years she took time for previous students even if it was a note or a passing conversation. She took time to listen and was genuinely interested in you. "

Steve Kanz wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Quoting Michael Ashby; \" A teacher\'s life is an eternity; Since she never knows where her influence stops\".. Mrs. Olmstead always kept up with her former students..."

Nancy Brown wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Jeanne was a beautiful lady inside & out! She was so gracious, kind, talented, & caring! When she sent a card or note it was always so sincere & made us feel so special! Many fond memories of visits to Ole & Jeanne in their Lewiston home & Winona also! Our sincere sympathy to Marilyn & Marite? as you both journey through all the beautiful memories & stories of Jeanne & Ole. God bless... Dean & Nancy Brown"

Patricia Hicks wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"My deepest condolences to you ,Marilyn and Marite?.Your mother was an amazing woman. Her kindness will truly be missed. Patricia J. Hicks"

Duane Oldham wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Mrs. Olmstead had such a passion for teaching and cared about every student in her class. She always knew what to say to make you smile or make your day better. Jeanne and Ole were a match made in heaven. "

Carol and Glen Hines wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Jeanne was a very special woman. She was kind and pleasant to every person she met. Jeanne was so thoughtful. She sent an anniversary card to Glen and me for many ,many years. Marilyn and Marite, our love goes out to you. Carol and Glen Hines"

Earl & Fran wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Earl and I received many letters from Jeanne over the years. She was very considerate, kind and thoughtful - a friend to all. Our sympathy to family members."

Lorene wrote on Apr 29, 2020:

"Marilyn. I cannot remember if I had your mother for a class or not but I certainly remember her kindness and smile. What wonderful memories you must have of her. My sympathy to you. Lorene"

Gary and Marlys Mills wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"It is with great sadness that we learn of Jeanne?s passing. She was a kind, considerate and loving person. She loved her students. We have wonderful memories of our years with Jeanne and Ole. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our condolences to Marilyn and Marite at this difficult time." wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Best teacher I ever had.She wanted children to learn.I remember worksheets everyday.She will be missed."

Diane K Spalding wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Dear Family & Friends Jeanne was my life since I was 10 years old. We attended St. Rose a Lima Church, she was our neighbor, she taught catechism, also English and substitute History teacher. My son Josh new Marite, Jeanne used to clip pictures from the news paper of us kids and send to my mom. I enjoyed visiting with Jeanne While we attened school functions like concerts and pic nics, I was able to see Jeanne alot more in the last four years, I truly enjoyed her letters She was very dear to us all She will be missed dearly. We Love You, Jeanne Sending all our Love Diane K Spalding and Family"

Estee Stene Krueger wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"I met Jeanne in 1969 when I started teaching English and German at Lewiston High School. She was a wonderful support for all of us teachers who were new to the high school. When I left Lewiston after four years to finish a German major, Jeanne and I stayed in contact for the next 45 years through my visits to Lewiston and Winona and missives, the term for letters that Jeanne always used. (In fact, she is the only person I have ever met who used that word.) Jeanne was the perfect example of kindness, faith, love, compassion, encouragement, joy, courage and grace. She was truly a professional educator who enjoyed her students and the art of teaching. What an inspiration she was to me and to all who came in contact with her. Marilyn and Marite\', my sympathy goes out to you and the rest of your family. I sincerely believe that those we have loved are always with us in our hearts. Estee Stene Krueger "

Jerry Williams wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"She was a very kind, respectful, and gentlelady who loved her profession and cared greatly for her students."

Jennifer (Schultz) Matzke wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Marilyn & Marite\', I am so sorry to hear about Jeanne. She was such a wonderful, caring Godmother to me! Ole & Jeanne were both such wonderful people to learn so much from. I had so many good visits with them. One great memory I have is drawing them a nice picture with the phrase \"Love is in the air\" on it because they both showed love to all. I so treasured all of the cards & pictures she would send to me & my family for all of our birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays! She will be missed! I will be praying for comfort for you during this difficult time??"

Richard and Carol Laska wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"What a kind thoughtful lady! Our deepest sympathies to Marilyn and her daughter. Ole and Jeanne together in heaven certainly leaves a void here on earth! "

Sheila Daley wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Mrs. Olmstead was a teacher who truly loved to teach...her pleasant disposition and smile are what I remember most. "

Dave McNally wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Jeanne was good with a smile forever on her face."

Colleen Volkmann wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Mrs. Olmstead was a teacher like none other. She was always there to help you no matter what. Blessed be her memory. Colleen Petersen Volkmann"

Lynne Brintnall Erickson wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Jeanne was a truly honorable, sincere, thoughtful and loving person. There are not enough glorious words to describe her, and her contributions to the world. My family lived across the street from the Olmsteads for many years. She and Ole were always so kind and generous to us. She would bake an extra loaf of bread for us, always remembering birthdays, sharing whatever she could. I have many wonderful memories of the Olmsteads, in my \"growing up\" years. Condolences to Marilyn and Marite! We are so sad for you both. "

Gregory Meisch wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Jean was a great teacher and I thought of her often . You and your family are in my prayers Marilyn "

Kimberly Boynton wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"Mrs Olmsted was a kind and gentle soul."

Jeanne “Hoffman” Hathcock wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"A beautiful soul, an amazing teacher, a lovely neighbor and a lifelong friend. I know Ole was so happy to welcome her home in paradise. "

Leslie Ruff wrote on Apr 28, 2020:

"I was just thinking of her and Miss O the other day. It was an honor to take care of one of my most favorite teachers\' mother. Rest in heavenly peace Jeanne."

Kim Olson wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"So sorry for your loss. She and Ole were neighbors to my grandparents in Lewiston and I have fond memories of visiting them. I remember going over there to sing them Happy Birthday a few times. More recently, it was always nice seeing her around Winona and visiting. She was such a kind person. "

Glenn Mueller family wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"She was my 7 and ,8 grade history teacher one of the best from Lewiston altura I graduated in 1980 "

Pam Wolfe wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"I met her a few times while visiting my mother at Calista Court, she was such a sweet women. Later found out her daughter Marilyn was my favorite teacher while at W-K school. I am so sorry for your lose ??? Pam Wolfe (Habeck)"

Carolyn Goree wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Oh Mrs Olmstead.... i?m so glad I got to spend the last days with you . Now you get to meet up with your husband Mr. O and enjoy each other?s company again . Love you my friend and teacher ???"

Deb Ronnenberg wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"She was one of my very favorite people, I think of you so touched so many people, I am one of them..You have such a wonderful family.. All my love, Deb Ronnenberg, Callista Court"

Duane & Linda Hutton wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Marilyn and Marite\' our deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear Mother & Grandmother. She was a special person and we were so blessed to have had the chance to know her. God\'s loving arms surround you with his love. Our thoughts & prayers. Duane & Linda Hutton "

Mark Reisetter wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Jeanne and Ole Olmstead were two of the first and finest people I met when I moved to Lewiston to begin my teaching career in the fall of 1968. I rented a room from Helen Bundy who invited the Olmsteads over for dinner in order for them to meet the new English teacher from Iowa. Of course Ole, back in those days, made Lewiston a ?Hail fellow, well-met!? sort of town; but it was Jeanne who really welcomed me into the high school faculty, warmly. Jeanne had some experience in directing school plays, and she became an ardent supporter of mine through the years in those endeavors. Jeanne was the epitome of a caring and supportive colleague and family friend. Her organizational skills amazed us as her cards arrived promptly marking each birthday, anniversary, or other family event. We have the fondest memories of the Olmsteads, and now, we are missing both. Ole and Jeanne have left a lasting legacy of love, optimism, and mutual respect! Our deep condolences to Marilyn, Marite, and the extended family."

Denise Griffin wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Marilyn and Marite\' my deepest sympathy for your loss. She hardly ever missed a birthday greeting. She was a very special godmother. Denise Griffin"

Jim and Kathy (Beirne) Jereczek wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Marilyn and Marite? we are so sorry for your loss! Anyone that knew her and Ole, know what special people they were. Our sympathies?"

becky and marvin Kreidermacher wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Our Heartfelt Sympathies to the Family , she was one of a kind just like her husband,our community was blessed to have them around wonderful inspiring people. Sorry for your loss, God has blessed you and kept you and has taken you to His Heavenly Home."

Sarah Sommer wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"She was always such a classy woman. My sympathies to her family."

Steven Kanz wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"Very nice lady. She changed many lives for the better. She also served our School and Community very well."

Laurie Clobes wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"A kinder woman I have never known. Blessed be her memory."