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  • Obituary

Janice Elizabeth Wurtz

Updated: Jan 13

September 23, 1939 — January 3, 2024

In Loving Memory of Janice E. Wurtz

Janice Wurtz,, a radiant soul and retired special education teacher, transitioned peacefully from this life on January 3, 2024, leaving a profound impact on all who were fortunate enough to know her.   Her departure marks the end of a life devoted to teaching, the joy of music, and an unwavering commitment to family.

Janice dedicated her professional life to the field of special education.  Her classroom was a sanctuary of acceptance and understanding, where she and a team of paraprofessionals tirelessly worked to empower students with diverse needs.  Janice believed in the transformative power of education and instilled in her students the confidence to navigate the world with resilience and grace.

Beyond the classroom, Janice was a passionate music lover.  She sang in the choir at Mound City UMC and played the organ and piano for services there for many years.  Janice also enjoyed playing the cello in the Fort Scott- Iola Community Orchestra.  Whether playing an instrument, attending concerts, or simply sharing the beauty of a well-composed piece, Janice found joy and connection in the world of music.

Family was at the heart of Janice's world.  Her love for Richard, children and grandchildren, and extended family was unwavering.  She created a home filled with warmth, laughter, and the enduring bonds that only a family-focused person could cultivate.  Janice cherished moments spent together, recognizing that family was an important part of life.

Janice Elizabeth Holt was born on September 23, 1939, in Dodge City, Kansas, to William and Rosa Hubman Holt. She graduated from Dodge City High School in 1957.  Janice was a 1961 graduate of the University of Kansas with her B.A. in Music Therapy. She met Richard Wurtz at KU and they were married at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Dodge City on August 12, 1961.

They are the parents of Melissa Wurtz, Joseph Wurtz and Christopher Wurtz.

Janice earned her Masters in Education in Special Education at Saint Louis University.  Janice worked in the special ed classroom in St. Louis for several years while helping raise their young children.  In 1973, the family moved to Mound City, Kansas, and Janice taught in the Jayhawk-Linn School District until she retired in June 2001.

Janice lived in Mound City then moved to the Residencies in Pleasanton around 2015 and then the Horton House in Fort Scott in 2018.

Survivors include: children Melissa Wurtz, Shawnee, KS, and Christopher Wurtz, Mound City, KS, and granddaughters, Tristian Wurtz Smith (Brandon), Mound City, and Jenae Daniels (Adam), Mound City. Janice leaves 2 great-grandchildren, Hadlee Daniels and Raylee Daniels. She has one sister, Marilyn A.Bader, St. Paul, Nebraska.   Janice was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Richard; her son, Nick Wurtz (2022), son-in-law, Paul Helmouth (2021), her parents and two brothers, Robert A. Holt and William L. Holt and sister-in-law, Soon In Holt.

A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 am, Friday, January 12th at the Mound City United Methodist Church.  Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, January 11th at the Mound City United Methodist Church. the family kindly requests donations be made to the Mound City United Methodist Church or Concern, Inc – a Mound City food pantry and assistance organization.  Online condolences may be left at

(Published in the Linn County Journal on January 6, 2024.)

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