Jautrite, also known as ”Joy,” passed away Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. She was born Aug. 5, 1940, in Riga, Latvia. She and her parents escaped their Communist-occupied country in 1944, seeking refuge in Germany and eventually arriving in the USA in 1950. In 1958, she was chosen by airmen in Europe, to bear the title “Miss Air Force.” She received her Bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, and shortly after, married Martin Kelpis and had six children, making their home in Warrens, for the next 17 years. As a divorced, single parent, she relocated her family to Eau Claire, Wis., where she finished her Masters’ degree in guidance and counseling at UW-Stout, in Menomonie, Wis., and obtained a license in social work.
Jautrite dedicated her life to the mental health//guidance counseling field. She worked with juveniles and families in various capacities, such as grief support, addiction, and family services counseling, and was a staunch advocate for education. She taught classes on numerous levels to include Christian, public schools, and offender education. She also worked in sales for many years.
Jautrite volunteered her time to many organizations, to include 4-H, church, hospitals, shelters, and was a member of the Rotary Club. She also fostered several at-risk children.
Jautrite’s greatest love was for the well-being of her children, grandchildren, and people in general. She enjoyed crocheting, reading, gardening, fishing and being one with nature.
Jautrite is survived by her children, Sandra L. Davis (Darren) of Farmington, Maine, Elizabeth D. Kelpis (Reinaldo) and Kristina L. Kelpis of Lakewood, Colo., Matthew M. Kelpis (Christine) of Lancaster, Calif., and Samantha J. Barlow (Jeff) of Rio Rancho, N.M.; grandchildren, Thomas M. Hoff, Webster, Texas, Ryan A. Hoff, Houston, Texas, Austin Kelpis, St. Louis, Mo., Brandon, Brianna and Brooke Kelpis of Lancaster, and Duncan and Isabella Barlow of Rio Rancho. She will be greatly missed by all.
Jautrite was preceded in death by her daughter, Laura Eva Kelpis; her granddaughter, Marissa Veronica Hoff; and her parents, Veronica and Ludvigs Kvietins.
A graveside service and interment will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 17, at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Brookfield, Wis.
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