Cover photo for Dr. Dale Jansen's Obituary
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1938 Dale 2024

Dr. Dale Jansen

December 6, 1938 — February 22, 2024

Des Moines

Dale Jerome Jansen, DDS, son of Harry and Irene (née Ranniger) Jansen, was born on December 6, 1938, in Manning, Iowa, and passed from this life on February 22, 2024, at Wesley Health Center in Des Moines at 85 years of age. The eldest of five children, he attended country school near the family farm and then Manning High School, graduating in 1957. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa in 1961, he entered dental school there, completing his dental degree in 1965. Following a two-year general practice residency in dentistry in Hawaii, Dale found his way back to Iowa and earned a Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1969. He entered into pediatric dental practice in Des Moines in 1975 and retired from practice in 2000. 

Trips to the Omaha stockyards with his father meant a trip to the Joslyn Art Museum for Dale. There, he developed an interest in contemporary and modern art. He became a founding member of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club in 1981. Dale was a loyal supporter and volunteer of the Art Center, serving on the Board of Trustees from 2009-2017 and elected an Honorary Trustee in 2018. He hosted numerous events and artists in his home, including El Anatsui and Phyllida Barlow. Much of Dale’s interstate and international travel was inspired by art and the friends he made through it. Over the years, Dale amassed a world-class print collection of modern and contemporary art which he proudly displayed in a modernist gallery he had added to his home. It was his wish the bulk of his collection be donated to the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in Iowa City and the Des Moines Art Center. 

Dale was an earnest friend with a staid, disarming demeanor and a delightfully dry wit. He was a late devotee of yoga and, until five years ago, was impressed with his ability to stand on his head. He thoroughly enjoyed hosting friends in his home, cooking, enjoying theater events, tending his collection of exotic houseplants, and telling a joke or two. He was an excellent storyteller and enjoyed recounting his experiences at home and abroad with others. He was grateful to have been able to travel to Italy twice in his final year. Despite extensive traveling and worldly experiences, Dale remained a fine example of a quintessentially charming Iowan who enjoyed working in the dirt and baking fresh cherry pies.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, brother Randall Jansen, and brother Mark Jansen. Left to cherish his memory are brother Curt Jansen, his sister, Marilyn Jansen, and his nieces and nephews: Scott Jansen and Sheila and their children, Kylie and Brandon; Matt Jansen and Gina and their children, Zoe and Dylan; Seth Jansen and Maria-Elana and their son Evan; Lucas Jansen and Janet, Kristina (née Jansen) Woods and Caleb, and Lily Jansen. Dale also leaves a community of friends who will miss him dearly. 

No public funeral services are planned. A private family funeral and burial of Dale’s cremains will take place in Manning at a later date, with a Celebration of Life to follow.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Dale Jansen, please visit our flower store.

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