Emma Joanna "Jo" Georg Wallin Arrival: July 11, 1921, Elkville, Ill.
Destination: Life-Long Love of Learning Departure: May 14, 2014, Idaho Falls, Idaho Parents, W. D. and Cora Georg and an eight-year-old sister, Wilma Elizabeth, welcomed baby Joanna into this four member family. She chose to go by "Jo" after reading "Little Women" in grade school. Jo won second rank in piano and clarinet in state competition in Springfield, Ill. Happy times were spent performing in "Romeo and Juliet" and jitterbugging at local jukebox cafes around southern Illinois.
Jo graduated from Elkville Community High School in 1939. That fall she enrolled at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, traveling there by train. Tragically, her father died in a mining accident in 1941. At U of Ill., she met Bob Wallin from Rockford, Ill. In their junior year they were engaged to be married and had what theyalways called an idyllic campus romance.
In the fall of 1942, Jo was offered a job as a junior bacteriologist with the Commission on Airborne Infection, given to the University of Chicago by the Surgeon General's Office. The commission's purpose was to do basic research that would prove that infections can be airborne. They wanted to avoid the devastating flu epidemic after World War I. This was accomplished and Jo learned, 20 years later, from a former colleague, that the methods, data and logistics that were worked on by the commission were used to determine the flu strains to include in the annual flu shot.
After obtaining her B.S. degree in Bacteriology, Jo and Bob were married at her Tri Delta Sorority house in December 1943. Bob left for World War II to Japan and Jo completed research at Camp Carson in Colorado.
The arrival of children changed her career focus. Jo's four children are: Nancy Ressaissi of Lomma, Sweden; Bill (Sue) Wallin, Betsy (John) Krsul, and Fred (Heike) Wallin, all of Idaho Falls; and wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 1952, the family made a cross country move to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jo became very active at Trinity United Methodist Church as Youth (MYF) Leader, Sunday School teacher and many roles in Methodist Women's Society. Travel fueled her love of learning from camping at Jenny Lake, trips across the U.S., to two years the family spent in Stockholm, Sweden, with summers touring Europe.
In 1978, Jo was a candidate for Idaho State Senate for the Bonneville Democratic Party, running on a $1000 campaign limit. She received the largest percentage of votes ever against a millionaire incumbent.
From 1980-1990 Jo loved her job of outside sales with a travel agency, leading several tours and cruises. In 1980, she was director of Eastern Idaho Census. Jo also served as the U.S. Representative for the International Swedish University, Red Cross Blood drive director, and original member of Regional Council of Ministry and CART board.
After Bob's death in 1995, Jo continued to travel, mostly to visit family, also with friends to concerts in Teton Village. For 55 years, Jo's Great Books Book Club enhanced her love of reading. She was a 50-year plus member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, supporting education for women.
Jo read and approved this message.
Funeral Services: Friday, May 30, 2014, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 6:30 p.m. music, 7 p.m. services, followed by a reception in the parlor. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Trinity United Methodist Church Restoration Fund, 237 N. Water Ave., Idaho Falls, ID 83402.
Send condolences to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.