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JoAnn's Story

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JoAnn (Jo) Vernooy, 68, of rural Leighton, died Saturday, April 30, 2016, at her home. She was born September 21, 1947 at Oskaloosa, the eldest of six children of Charles and Margaret Slagter Street. She attended University Park Grade School, and graduated in 1965 from Oskaloosa High School, where she was on the National Honor Society and National Honor Choir. On December 23, 1965, she was united in marriage to Henry G. Vernooy at Oskaloosa, and they were blessed to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in December, 2015. Two children were born to this union, Stephanie and Shane. Jo worked as a legal secretary and receptionist for the Clements Law Office in Oskaloosa for 28 years, and later for the Tripp Law Office of Pella for about five years and retired in November, 2015.
To know her was to love her; you were part of her life forever. She never knew a stranger, and young or old, she was everyone's "mom". So many have shared stories about her love and generosity, and how she never failed to send birthday cards and notes of encouragement. She loved making jewelry, flower arrangements, and gifts for others. Jo was funny, kind, loving, and compassionate. Her kids and her grandchildren were her greatest joy. Jo was a member of the St, James Episcopal Church of Oskaloosa, and enjoyed serving on the Mahaska County Pioneer Cemetery Committee. She was passionate about researching the pioneer cemetery history for the integrity of the burial sites, and restoring and preserving the stones and the memories of the loved ones buried there. Losing her has left a huge void in our lives, and she will be greatly missed. We were blessed to have her in our lives.
Her family includes her husband, Henry G. Vernooy of rural Leighton; their daughter, Stephanie (& Duane) Vos of Pella, and Shane (& Janet) Vernooy of Oskaloosa; five grandchildren: Hanna, Katelyn, and Seth Vos; and Lily and Madelyne Vernooy; her siblings: Barb Street of Hannibal, Missouri, Mary (& Dan) Kesterson, Oskaloosa; Brian Street of Guttenberg, Iowa; Bruce (& Judy) Street of Oskaloosa; and Jim (& Kathy) Street of Cedar. Also surviving are Henry's siblings: William (& Donna) Vernooy of Pella; Clara (& Don) DeRonde in Minnesota; and Martha (& Carl) Drost of Oskaloosa.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents; her parents in law: Walter and Wilma Vernooy; a son in law: Dennis Bruxvoort; and a sister in law: Teresa Street.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 6, 2016, at 10 a.m. in the St. James Episcopal Church in Oskaloosa with the Rev. Father Terry Kleven officiating. Burial will follow in the Olivet Cemetery at Olivet, southwest of Leighton. Visitation will begin at the Bates Funeral Chapel on Thursday after 11 a.m., and the family will be at the funeral chapel on Thursday from 5 - 7 p.m. to greet friends and relatives. The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Iowa City or to a college fund for her grandchildren.
Published on May 13, 2016
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