Cover photo for Jeanne (Gilbertson) Stelloh Willinger's Obituary
Jeanne (Gilbertson) Stelloh Willinger Profile Photo

Jeanne (Gilbertson) Stelloh Willinger

d. February 13, 2023

Jeanne (Gilbertson) Stelloh Willinger, age 97 of Battle Creek passed away Monday, February 13, 2023. She was born in 1925 to Arnie and Martha Gilbertson in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

After graduating from LaCrosse Central High School, she attended Luther College where she met her husband, Truman Stelloh. They were married 49 years until his death in 1994. She married Bill Willinger in 1999 and they were married until his death in 2002.

Jeanne was an English/Journalism teacher and taught in school systems in Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois before coming to Battle Creek. She retired from the Battle Creek Public Schools in 1989. She returned to get her master's degree in Specialized Reading from Michigan State University when she was 59. She and Truman also owned an A & W Root Beer Stand in Iowa for eight summers.

She was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran church, a former member of Trinity Lutheran Church, both of Battle Creek, and a former member of St. Paul's Lutheran in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. She was active in the churches serving on many committees and in leadership positions.

She enjoyed traveling both around the United States and abroad. Her highlight trips included Norway and Scandinavian countries, a Baltic cruise, and a trip to China.

She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Teacher Sorority, both in Battle Creek and LaCrosse, the Sons of Norway in Kalamazoo, and several bridge clubs including one she joined when they came to Battle Creek in 1964, and also a member of the Social Bridge Club at Battle Creek Country Club. She was active on the Charitable Union board, Lutheran Church Women, and in PTA. She was an avid reader, did daily crossword puzzles (in ink), enjoyed going antiquing, and she especially enjoyed time with family and friends.

Jeanne was preceded in death by her husbands, Truman Stelloh and Bill Willinger, and her parents. She is survived by daughter, Joanna (Peter) Stelloh Phelps of Battle Creek, one brother, Tom (Juanita) Gilbertson, two nieces, Krista (Tim) Davidson and Laurel (David) Lee, and their children, Lea and Anders Davidson, and Annika, Karin, and Erik Lee.

The family will receive friends 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Thursday, February 16th at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 17th @ St. Peter Lutheran Church, 1079 Riverside Dr., Battle Creek, MI 49015. Jeanne will be interred at the Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church, 1079 Riverside Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49015 or to the Jeanne (Gilbertson) Stelloh Scholarship at Luther College, Development Office, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101-1043. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 16, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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Memorial Service

Friday, February 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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