COLUMBIA — Eric Scott Jansing would do anything for his children.
When his daughter, Hailey, 7, needed help with her homework, he was there to lend a hand. When the neighbors gifted their old wooden swing set, Mr. Jansing restored it until it looked brand new.
And when the car carrying both him and his daughter ran off the road and hit a tree two weeks ago, Mr. Jansing did everything in his power to make sure she was all right.
“He was the best dad,” Hailey said. “He would do anything for us.”
Eric Scott Jansing died Wednesday, June 13, 2012. He was 40.
While driving with his daughter in the backseat, Mr. Jansing had a stroke. He managed to slow the car down before it hit a tree and remained conscious until paramedics arrived to make sure Hailey was alright. Neither was injured in the crash.
Mr. Jansing's wife, Kari Jansing, said the family spent two weeks at the hospital after that.
“The nurses were fighting over who was going to take care of him every day,” she said. “They kept on saying, ‘You really have a rock star in there.’”
Mr. Jansing was born on Dec. 13, 1971, in St. Louis County to Terry and Sherlynn Jansing.
His mother described him as a “straight arrow” kind of kid. She said he never even got a bus ticket for misbehaving on the way to school.
She remembers his love of rock 'n' roll, listening to artists like Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, often at a volume too loud for his father’s taste.
Both parents agreed he was a great kid, though, always willing to help out and never causing any trouble.
“We used to laugh because he had a long ponytail down his back," Sherlynn Jansing said. "I told my husband one time, ‘If that’s the only way he’s going to rebel, I think I can handle these teenage years.'"
At age 20, Mr. Jansing met 16-year-old Kari Butcher while they both worked at Target. She said he waited two years to ask her out, and they dated for five years before getting married Aug. 21, 1999, in Columbia.
There, he worked as a product support representative at the Missouri Research and Education Network with the University of Missouri System for 15 years.
The couple had two children, Hailey and Logan, 3. Kari Jansing is currently pregnant with their third child.
She said Mr. Jansing’s favorite activity was spending time with the children, whether that meant taking them to Sunday school or riding on a roller coaster.
“He spent a lot of extra time doing things for the kids to make sure they always had a smile on their faces,” Kari Jansing said.
Sherlynn Jansing said, “We’re very proud of him. He grew up to be a fine man and put a lovely home together for his family."
Hailey will remember her father as the man who saved her life and always had a smile on his face.
"He touches everyone's heart," she said.
Mr. Jansing is survived by his parents; wife; children; sister, Jennifer Scanlon and her husband, Gary, of Austin, Texas; mother-in-law, Judy Butcher, of Columbia; father-in-law, Tom Butcher, of Columbia; two sisters-in-law, Kristi Campbell, and her husband, David, of Columbia, and Kim Robbins, and her husband, Rick, of Wisconsin; grandparents, Wil Jansing and Dorothy Melton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.
Mr. Jansing's grandmother Dolores Jansing and grandfather Sherman Melton died earlier.
Visitation will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to a college fund for Mr. Jansing's children. Checks should be made payable to Eric Jansing Memorial Fund, c/o Bank of Missouri, 3610 Buttonwood Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.
Tributes can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.
Supervising editor is Hannah Cushman.