Kurt Janke went to be with his Lord and Savior, peacefully in his sleep, on November 18, 2022.
Kurt was born in Lesnic, Poland to German parents, Ludwig and Martha Michel Janke, on June 23, 1929. He lived in Lesnic until WWII broke out, when the family moved to his grandfather Janke’s farm in Dombrowka. In 1943, Kurt was ordered to Bavaria to train as a farmer, and in 1944, forced to serve in a labor battalion. At the age of 15, he was captured and sent to an American POW camp. He was reunited with his family in 1946. They settled in Hohenlockstedt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. On October 18, 1951, Kurt immigrated to the US through New York as a displaced person. He lived in Villard, Minnesota with his sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Murton Pennie, where he learned English and worked on their farm.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in late 1952 and trained with E Company 53rd Airborne Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne at Camp Breckenridge, KY. In May 1953, he was sent to HQ Company 525 with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, where he served in “I” Company 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Kurt was promoted to the rank of Corporal and received the National Defense Service Medal. He served in the Army Reserve until 1961. On November 24, 1953, he proudly became a naturalized US citizen.
Kurt moved to Greensboro and married Betty Clemmons in 1958. With the assistance of the Pennie family, he sponsored his brother Adolf to immigrate to the US. Through the G.I. Bill, Kurt apprenticed with Brame Industries. He worked with Brame as a tool and die maker until they closed in 1983, and eventually retired from Amp, Inc. in 1993.
He loved jigsaw puzzles, playing chess and Rummikub, gardening, reading, cycling, grilling out, fishing, listening to music, traveling, going to the pool, and dancing.
He was a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church for 64 years, where he sang in the choir, served on Property and Maintenance Committee, ushered, carved turkey for Thanksgiving meals, and attended Book Club and Senior Christians where he loved playing Dominoes. He was a member of the Lions Club for 20 years.
One of Kurt’s accomplishments in life, that he and his family and friends were very proud of, was his over 40 years of sobriety.
Kurt was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Arno, Alfred, Hans, Egon, and Harry; and the mother of his children, Betty Clemmons Janke.
Kurt is survived by two brothers Adolf, of Villa Park, IL, and Joseph of Hohenlochstedt; and by his sister Siegrid Janke-Shaker of Hamburg; daughters Marta (Duane) Richardson, Myra Kay (David) Moore, and Barbara (Bob) Koenig; grandchildren Sarah, Janke, and Rebekah Richardson; Jennifer and Michael Moore; and Rae, Abbey, and Lydia Koenig, all of whom were dearly loved.
We would like to thank the staff at Countryside Manor for their care and love in his final years.
Visitation will be at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 11:00 am followed by the funeral service at 12:00 pm. The graveside service will be private.
Memorials can be made to Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 310 S. Tremont Drive, Greensboro, NC 27403.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.wrightfs.com.
Wright Funerals-Cremations, High Point is in charge of arrangements.