Janice Ellen VanArkel, 84, of Des Moines, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday May 10, 2022.

Jan was born on April 7, 1938, to Paul and Doris Cruchelow in Indianola, Iowa. Jan was the middle child with an older sister Lois Cruchelow, and younger brother Paul Cruchelow, Jr.

Jan worked as an accountant for over 40 years, much of that time at Kone Elevator where she eventually retired from. While working at Kone Elevator she met the love of her life, Joe VanArkel.

Jan and Joe were a match made in heaven, almost always together enjoying life. They never missed their Friday night date nights. Every winter they shipped off to Arizona to spend time with their friends in the sun. They loved summers in Iowa out by their pool watching the birds at the feeders. Fall time was spent making handcrafted gifts for friends and family. Joe was famous for his woodworking skills and Jan finalized the projects with her amazing painting skills. Everyone in the family has at least one Christmas ornament made with love.

Jan was a loving and forgiving mother. No matter what, you could always find your way back into her door greeted with a hug and her infectious laugh. She always had her kids’ best interests at heart, even if it came with a scolding. As a mother, Jan was always ready to help and loved seeing her kids succeed.

Jan was the all-American grandma. She loved spending time with her grandkids cooking up amazing pancake breakfasts and building forts under the dining room table. She was always willing to turn off her soap operas for cartoons. Lunchtime usually consisted of a sandwich cut in triangles with a handful of Lays chips between the wedges. Easy to startle, she was constantly defending herself from pesky grandkids hiding around corners ready to scare her.

Jan was predeceased by her father Paul Cruchelow, mother Doris Cruchelow, brother Paul Cruchelow, Jr., sister Lois Cruchelow, and husband Joe VanArkel.

She is survived by her daughter Kim Helland (Ed), son Rob Rhinehart, daughter Paula Baumeister, son Jeff VanArkel, son Jim VanArkel (Robbie), son Denny VanArkel (Pam), son Dave VanArkel, grandson Dillon Baumeister (Emily), grandson Matt Sillanpaa (Julie), grandson Jimmy Baumeister (Cassie), granddaughter Liberty VanGenderden, grandson Jeremy VanArkel (Jennifer), granddaughter Brittany VanArkel, granddaughter Courtney VanArkel, granddaughter April VanArkel, grandson Colby VanArkel, granddaughter Mandi Alexander (Daniel), granddaughter Heidi Miller, grandson Eric Helland (Erica), fifteen great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.

Visitation and Celebration of Life will be held on the same day at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 on Saturday May 21, 2022. The visitation begins at 10:00 A.M. with the funeral service at 11:00 A.M. The burial service will follow at Highland Memory Gardens, 1 NE 60th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50313.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Alzheimer’s Association Greater Iowa Chapter, 1730 28th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266.

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