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Apr
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2024
Obituaries

Ingrid Jansen

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Ingrid Jansen, age 85, resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, formerly of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, passed away Dec. 3, 2023. She was the beloved wife of Werner Jansen for 59 years.

Born on the first day of summer, June 21, 1938, in Kassel, Germany, Ingrid was the daughter of the late Josef and Theresa Dicke. She was raised in rural Warstein, Germany, during WWII. The end of the war and American occupation brought stability to her childhood. Her first encounter with patrolling American GIs was post-curfew as a 7-year-old, expecting an admonishment; they instead gave her a full carton of Hershey chocolate bars. It was the first time she ever had chocolate, and it remained her favorite sweet.

Ingrid excelled in her studies and became selected nationally among the first German high school students to travel to America as Fulbright Scholars. In 1954, at the young age of 16, Ingrid steamed by ocean liner from Bremen to New York City. She was welcomed by the Bradburn family of St. Louis, Missouri, spending the year with them as an exchange student. During that year she earned her high school diploma from Bishop DuBourg High School. Upon her return to Germany, she received a degree in teaching at the University of Muenster and spent some happy years teaching elementary school.

In the early 1960s, Ingrid returned to America with her husband, Werner Jansen — this time she could fly. Settling in Yellow Springs, Ohio, she worked as a language instructor at Antioch College. Education continued to be a high priority, and she earned master’s degrees in English literature and German from Wright-State University and the University of Cincinnati, where she also completed doctoral work. With the arrival of her three children, she focused on providing a warm, loving and enriching home for her family, passing on her love for learning to her three children. She also enjoyed making traditional German crafts and foods, collecting fine china, and tending a beautiful flower garden. Ingrid was a devoted member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Yellow Springs for many years. During the early 1990s, she taught French and German at Yellow Springs High School. She hosted groups of language students on trips to Europe, sharing her passion for travel and foreign cultural experience.

In later years, Ingrid and Werner relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she spent many engaging years teaching German and English as a second language at area universities and to industry professionals. She split her time there with Paderborn, Germany, taking on local real estate projects and reconnecting with family and friends, including her beloved sister, Helga, and brother, Walter. She enjoyed freelance language translation. One of her favorite projects was translating the children’s book “The Wizard of Oz” from English to German.

Ingrid remained dedicated to her growing family, especially her grandchildren. They could always count on chocolates, freshly baked cookies and a crisp $20 bill for a good report card when visiting Oma.

In 2020, Ingrid moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to be closer to her children. Her family is grateful to the supportive staff at Cadbury Commons senior living facility who provided compassionate care during her final years.

In addition to her husband, Ingrid is lovingly survived by her children, Eckart Jansen and his wife, Ann, of Belmont, Massachusetts, Petra Sansom, and her husband, Andrew, of Winchester, Massachusetts, and Richard “Chipp” Jansen, of London, England; and her beloved grandchildren, Rachel Jansen, Laura Jansen, Sarah Jansen, Alex Sansom and Michaela Sansom.

A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church, 155 Washington St., Winchester, on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend and are asked to meet directly at the church.

If so moved, donations in Ingrid’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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