December 8, 1980 ~ January 1, 2020
Janessa “Jaye” Nicole (Gohdes) Smith was born December 8th, 1980, at Dakota Hospital in Fargo, ND to Keith and Mary (Kringler) Gohdes. She attended school in Casselton, graduating as an honor student from Central Cass High School in 1999. While in school she was very active in sports – mainly basketball. She enjoyed being able to play on the same team as her sister Brianna. After graduation, Jaye founded the “Sistaz” pep club in support of her sisters’ athletics. She was musical and played trumpet in the concert and stage band. She was awarded the John Phillip Sousa Award her senior year. One of her fondest memories was being encouraged by Mr. Wald to sing in the CCHS Variety Show. Jaye sang in the show 3 years in a row and was proud of her accomplishment. She was class president both junior and senior year at CCHS. She attended Close Up in Bismarck for 2 years which instilled a lifelong interest in government. She attended college at MSUM and completed her degree at the University of Mary. Jaye began working at US Bank Service Center in 2004 and worked in various roles there since that time. She was very proud to be employed by US Bank. She loved her job and enjoyed her work family.
Jaye was married to Timothy Smith in 2006. They had one child, Sayler, who was born in 2009. Jaye was a lifelong member of the Canaan Moravian Church being baptized, confirmed, and married there. Her faith was important to her and helped sustain her in her times of struggle. She taught Sunday School and helped write the script for the Sunday School Christmas program for several years.
Jaye packed a lot of living into her 39 years. She was a very social person, always wanting to connect with friends. Jaye loved to sing karaoke, especially at the Detroit Lake Holiday Inn with her crew – you know who you are! Favorite selections were 80’s power ballads such as “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. More recently she loved spending time with the Sprenger’s in “The Office” listening to Andy play guitar and sing.
Jaye loved to read and write. She kept up to date on celebrity news by reading US Weekly from cover to cover. Her favorite book series was Harry Potter. She loved everything Harry Potter! She was an avid KFGO listener and would listen throughout the day. She had a distinct quality in her voice which led to one of her favorite part-time jobs as a radio deejay. Over the years, Jaye developed a habit of journaling. Some nights when sleep evaded her, she would write for 2 or 3 hours in her journal. Jaye also kept an elaborate planner documenting all appointments complete with decorative stickers. It was a work of art! Jaye always wanted to present her best self and would apply her make-up meticulously, and we can’t forget the glitter!! She had a unique and eclectic style!
Jaye was very politically minded – a diehard liberal – and was not afraid to express her opinion. She had a great memory which allowed her to recollect even the most minute details about events both recent and also from years past. Jaye had a big heart. She loved her cousins, especially her childhood playmates Staci and Eric. Jaye had a special place in her heart for her nieces, baby Elsie, and 4-year-old Hazel who was one of the few people she let call her JJ. But most of all, she loved her pride and joy, Sayler Sylvia Jaye, whom she lovingly referred to as Peanut. They had a very special bond and enjoyed each other's company, ending every day spent together with girl talk. Jaye loved her sisters and was proud of the fact she always had their backs, protecting them and paving their way. Jaye was always interested in their lives. Jaye also loved her pets and farm life. She enjoyed looking out at the cows, watching deer sleeping in her yard, and the many different types of birds. She even had chickens for a short period of time, naming each one. One thing she disliked was the flock of turkeys that invaded her yard. Recently she and Sayler were given 3 barn cats. Jaye loved those cats. She also had a house cat, Rex, who would snuggle in to comfort her.
Jaye loved her parents. She strove to please them. She was proud to live in her grandparents’ home. And she always left the light on in the kitchen for her dad. The bond she formed with her Mom was very strong. At the end of her life, Jaye expressed her great love for her mother and the compassion shown for her. “Mom, you are my best friend”.
Janessa died peacefully on January 1, 2020 at the age of 39. Janessa is survived by her daughter Sayler, parents Keith and Mary Gohdes, sisters Brianna (Rob) Stock, Alyssa (Lucas) Palczewski, nieces Elsie Stock and Hazel Palczewski, Aunts and Uncles, Melanie Fransen, Ki Gohdes, Stephen (Heidi) Gohdes, Jennifer (Gary) Gillis, Ruth (Mike) Fuller, John Kringler, Curtiss Mundahl and many cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandparents: Alvin and Sylvia Gohdes and Robert and Ruth Kringler, aunts Roberta Mundahl and Jan Kringler.