Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011,

Jenifer M. Goertzen, 28, of Morton, died on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in St. Louis, Mo.

She was born Dec. 15, 1982, in St. Paul, Minn., to Donald and Donna (Hansen) Goertzen.

Surviving are her parents, Don and Donna Goertzen of Morton; one brother, Donnie of Costa Mesa, Calif.; many aunts, uncles and cousins; her beloved ferrets, Zero and Loki; her cats, Drake and Akito; as well as an extended family of good friends.

She was preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandparents; one uncle, Steve Crookes of Alaska; her beloved ferrets, Oni, Neo, and Pixie and the family dog, Bandit.

She was employed at CPO Services in Peoria where she touched the lives of so many.

She had continuously persevered and had overcome great adversity and many challenges in her life. She was finally on her way to starting her wonderful new life and was in St. Louis looking for an apartment.

She was so excited to be starting Veterinary Tech School when her life was so tragically cut short just days before classes were to begin.

She had such a caring heart and had a special love for animals. She will be missed by her family and those who loved and cared for her.

Visitation will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton with a memorial service immediately following visitation. Cremation has been accorded.

It would be to her honor to have donations made to no-kill animal shelters such as TAPS in Pekin. They desperately need them to continue to lovingly care for and find homes for the precious animals that she loved so much.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at