Jannan M. Stevens

Jannan Zahina-Stevens, age 80, passed away at her home in Briggsville, Wisconsin on Thursday, January 11, 2018 surrounded by her loving family.  Jannan was born in Dubuque Iowa on March 31, 1937.   She was the eldest daughter of Clarence and Mary Zahina.

Friends may come to St. Mary’s Church in Briggsville, Wisconsin on Saturday, January 20, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to pay their respects to the family. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:00 p.m. By the age of 6, Jannan and her sisters began singing on holidays with her father’s band, Clarence Zahina and the Barnstormers. She sang on Clarence’s radio show at KDTH, and barn dances at Melody Mill. In 1952 at the young age of 14, Jannan officially joined her father’s band.  The Barnstormers played dances throughout the States of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Clarence Zahina and the Barnstormers became very successful and were seen on weekly TV shows out of Cedar Rapids, IA, Waterloo, IA, and Madison, Wisconsin. The Barnstormers worked with many top performers such as Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, Jim Reeves, some of the top Grand Ole Opry performers as well as members of the Lawrence Welk orchestra. She also played organ for the Tommy Bartlett Water Show.

In the winter months, Jannan, her sister, and Clarence played as a trio at clubs in the area. It was at a club in the small town of Briggsville, WI in 1963 when she met her husband, Gary Stevens. They were married in 1965 and started a family soon after. They had 4 children who ultimately graced her with 6 wonderful grandchildren. During this time Jannan and her husband became very involved with the Briggsville American Legion Auxiliary.

Surviving are Jannan’s loving husband of 52 years, Gary Stevens, four children, Gary Stevens Jr., Appleton WI, Teresa (Dan) Morse, Wisconsin Dells, WI, Julie Stevens, Briggsville, WI, and Amy (Craig) Blystone, Portage, WI.  She is also survived by 6 grandchildren; Brittany and Taylor Remington, Adam and Noah Stevens, Derek Cardinal and Darien Blystone., As well as two sisters, Mary Jane (Garry) Clauer and Carol (Tim) Stevenson.

Preceded in death were Jannan’s mother and father, Mary and Clarence Zahina, and a sister, Darlene Manders.

A special thanks to Agrace HospiceCare of Baraboo WI, Dr. Escabado-Morse, Portage, WI, and to friends and family for their thoughts and prayers.

The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)