Jo Anne Wagner, 69, went home to be with Jesus on May 31, 2019. She was a selfless hero to so many people and their families, and a compassionate, adventurous spirit, whom you could confide in to get help with any situation.
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The daughter of Ralph Sovern Norman and Barbara Lou (Howard) Norman she was born December 19, 1949, in Atlantic, Iowa. She graduated from Atlantic High School in 1968, and was so excited to leave Atlantic to get to the “city”. She went to Iowa Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in the fall of 1968, for one whole day, before Ralph and Barb had to drive to pick her up because she was so homesick. She then asked them to turn around and take her right back the next morning to give it another shot; she stuck it out to earn her 3 year RN diploma. Jo started her nursing career at Methodist in Des Moines, followed by the Red Oak Hospital and then wanting to get back home, she ended up back in Atlantic at Cass County Memorial Hospital in 1976, to begin a 36 year career. Her first assignment was Home Health Care Nurse where she adopted all of her patients and their families into her heart. She was promoted to Home Health Director and finally Discharge Care Coordinator for over 20 years where she was able to help families access the medical, financial and personal services available to them. Jo retired from Cass County Health System in 2012 and then started her next career dedicated to her grandchildren.
Jo Norman was united in marriage to Jack H. Wagner on January, 23, 1972. (Jan 23, Jan 23, Jan 23, Jan 23…Jack just write it down!) at the Atlantic Gospel Chapel, where she attended church for many years also doing one of her most cherished things, teaching Sunday school for 12+ years. There she was able to unite her skills of teaching and guiding, alongside love of children and watching them grow.
Jo was a talented artist, she was gifted at knitting everything from baby hats for family and anyone who would just ask for one, and her jewelry which she often took classes on how to create pieces out of already owned family items. Who can forget her scarves? She loved giving out scarves to people, and would often tailor make them to whatever design and or color scheme people could come up with. Jo loved vibrant colors and coordinating pieces to wear with her wardrobe and was overjoyed when people would stop her in whatever city, state, or random grandchild sporting event she was at and comment to her, “I love your…” top, or scarf, or necklace.
Jo loved adventures most of all and considered them her treasures. Having the whole family up to Iowa for the summer, where she taught all of the nieces and nephews to play poker on the Poplar Street porch. This was complete with bubble gum cigars and taped squirt guns under her side of the table to keep the upper hand. Or running to Texas to hang out with Dan, Betty, Ryan and Sarah and stocking up on a trunk load of shoes while there (not kidding on the trunk load of shoes either). Traveling all over the country to just hang out with brother, Rick and his family, and to Missouri to see nephew, Ryan’s family for a few days. Jo once gathered the entire family and started picketing the Brown’s Shoe Fit in Salina, KS for her brother Dan's surprise 40th birthday. She took off at a moment’s notice to get to Minnesota with Barb and Brian in tow, upon hearing little niece Adrianne was born (that was a one day run up and run back trip, too). Also, she never missed a performance of dance or a play when it came to her nieces in Minnesota. Canadian fishing trips with her brothers, sister and their married halves were always packed with laughs and good times. But simple drives to the farm pond with Jack to just go fishing were among her favorite adventures.
Jo is survived by her husband, Jack Wagner of Atlantic; only child (who was more than a handful; probably felt like 3 kids worth) Brian (Jennifer Zikuda-Wagner) Wagner; her grandchildren, Brady, Brandon and Bryson Wagner and Ben Parker all of Atlantic; her siblings, Rick (Maggie) Norman of Missoula, MT, Dan (Betty) Norman of Salina, KS and (the golden child) Kay (Dan) McCarthy of Minnetonka, MN; a sister-in-law, Ellen (Ed) Morris of Bagely, IA; seven nieces and nephews, Ryan (Leslie) Norman along with their 3 kids: Kate, Kennedy and Ryder of Springfield, MO, Toby (Tara) Norman along with their 3 kids: Kensley, Connor and Caden of the Isle of Puerto Rico, Sarah (Ryan) Payne along with their 3 kids: Ella, Sam, Tommy of Salina, KS, (Rock Chalk Jayhawk Go KU); Bethany (Pablo) Calderon and their 2 kids: Carolina and Camilla of Brasov, Romania, Adrianne (Ian) Law and their 2 kids: Hope and Ezra of Crystal, MN, Meghan (Dennis) Morrison and their fluffy love pup, Yoshi of Crystal, MN, and Aubrey (Jesse) Lee and their love pup, Fritz of St. Paul, MN; and many loved cousins and cousins-in-laws.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Barbara Norman; infant brother, Timothy; nephew, Andy (Brian misses his birthday buddy!); and brother in-law, Alan Wagner; in-laws Harold and Lois Wagner; also many loved aunts and uncles.
Open visitation will be available at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, June 9th, at Roland Funeral Home. Visitation and viewing with the family present will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, June 9th at Roland Funeral Home.
Per Jo’s request cremation will take place following the visitation and a Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 10th at the Evangelical Free Church in Atlantic.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the family for later designation to a nursing school to assist with tuition for students wanting to serve others in the nursing field as Jo did for many years.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Jo’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com
Mom the kids are so sad to see you go, but they want you to know they will always love their Monkey...
Celebrating the Life of
December 19, 1949 ~ Atlantic, Iowa
May 31, 2019 ~ Omaha, Nebraska
At the age of 69 Years, 5 Months & 12 Days
CELEBRATION OF LIFE MEMORIAL SERVICE
10:00 a.m., Monday, June 10, 2019
Evangelical Free Church ~ Atlantic, Iowa
Pastor Don McLean
HONORARY CASKET BEARERS