Effie Jane Dinesen, the daughter of Gordon E. and Effie Bessie (Rose) Terrell, was born on March 27, 1923, in Dunlap, Iowa. She attended Dunlap schools through the eleventh grade. On January 3, 1940, Jane married Leonard Keith Dinesen in Onawa, Iowa. The couple farmed northeast of Harlan, Iowa, where they also raised livestock. Jane worked as a waitress at the Harlan Bowling Alley and later as a dishwasher and cook for eight years at Westridge School in Harlan. On November 20, 1985, Jane experienced a stroke, which caused her to make her home at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan.
Jane was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa, where she was active in the Methodist Church Women’s Circle. She was also a charter member of the Shelby County Historical Society, and a member of the Zenobia Rebekah Lodge #286 and the Merry Homemaker’s Club. Jane was a former 4-H leader, as well. An avid bowler, she enjoyed crocheting, fixing family meals, and traveling with her husband to Florida and New Hampshire to attend car and motorcycle races. Jane also liked going to Las Vegas, Nevada, in January each year.
Jane Dinesen died on Sunday, September 24, 2006, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, at the age of 83 years, 5 months, and 28 days.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leonard, on March 19, 1985; four sisters, Aletha Cornelious, Julia Albrecht, Eleonor Terwilliger, and Voy Terrell; and one brother, Elmer Terrell. She is survived by two sons, Melvin (Janis) Dinesen of Harlan, Iowa, and Donald (Chris) Dinesen of Bakersfield, California; two daughters, Peggy Hess and Susan (Jerry) Lambert, both of Harlan, Iowa; one sister, Scenna Gordon of Dow City, Iowa; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.