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Jo Ann Thomas

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Jo Ann Thomas Obituary
Jo Ann Thomas


Jo Ann Thomas, 73, of Clive died quietly at home on May 9, 2013 after a lengthy struggle with coronary artery disease. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday May 13, 2013 at Meredith Drive Reformed Church, burial will be private. A Visitation will be held on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Westover Funeral Home

Born in Hartley, IA, Jo Ann graduated from Hartley high school, where she was selected both homecoming queen and Oracle queen by her classmates. Later while attending the University of Iowa, she was affiliated with Delta Delta Delta sorority and played bagpipes in the original Scottish Highlanders, marching in the 1959 Rose Bowl parade and during half-time of the football game.

Her smiling, cheerful personality beamed forth during a work career at the Iowa statehouse with several decades of service as a clerk in the Iowa Legislature and on the staff of Governor Robert D. Ray, of which she was extremely proud. In later years Jo Ann also worked at the Blood Center of Iowa.

She was a loving spouse, mother, sister and aunt to her family and faithful companion to her dogs, enthusiastically photographing their activities over a lifetime of 50 years in the Des Moines area.

Jo Ann is survived by her husband, Philip; a son, Brett Nelson (Sandy) of Des Moines; her three brothers: Leroy Hesse (Kay) of Newton, James Hesse (Helen) of Spirit Lake, and Will Hesse of Milford and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Will and Nina Hesse, and sister-in-law, Linda Hesse.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of UnityPoint Hospice for their excellent care and dedication to Jo Ann during the past fifteen months.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Meredith Drive Reformed Church or the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.


Published in Des Moines Register from May 11 to May 13, 2013
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