Jo Ann Blanchard, age 79, of Nevada, Iowa, went to be with the Lord our Savior on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Jo Ann was born on December 14, 1938, in Popejoy, Iowa, to Earnest and Josephine (Evans) LaRue. After graduating from high school, Jo Ann moved to Nevada where she met her husband, Leedrue Blanchard. She married Lee on May 3, 1959, and recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. Together they lived on an acreage south of Nevada, where they raised their three children.
Jo Ann was employed at Nevada National Bank, Farm Bureau Land Bank and Story County Extension Service, where she served as the 4-H Youth Leader Coordinator until she retired.
After retirement, Jo Ann remained active in 4-H, serving on the Historical Society. Her other spare time after retirement was spent with her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and being involved with the First United Methodist Church.
Jo Ann’s involvement with the First United Methodist Church included teaching Sunday school and Vacation Bible School while raising her children; and later participating in the Bithiah Circle.
Jo Ann’s role in 4-H was extensive. As a youth, she was a member of the Oakland Happy Go Luckies 4-H Club in Franklin County. As an adult, Jo Ann was a Club Leader for Shipley Sunny Servers, assisting her husband leading the Grant Toppers and then the newly formed combined Club, Grant Guys and Gals. At the Story County Extension Service, Jo Ann served as the 4-H Youth Coordinator for Story County from 1985-2002. After retirement, she served on the 4-H Historical Board from 2005 to present. Jo Ann participated in the development and appeared in the video “Bridges from Past to Future 4-H;” was a 2007 Honoree, along with her husband, for the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame; and was chosen as a Story Count 4-H Alumni Member in 1980. In 1998, she received the Diversity Achievement award.
In addition to her husband Lee, Jo Ann is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Shari and Mike Caruth of Nevada, IA and Marcy and Andres Juarez of San Antonio, TX; her son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Shelly Blanchard of Mayfield Heights, OH; grandchildren Miranda Blanchard, Kassandra Blanchard, Kristen Blanchard, Alison Caruth, and Kelsey Blanchard; and great-grandchildren Gavin Blanchard and Jackson Blanchard.
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Mary Lou and Betty; her brother, Maclyn; and her parents, Earnest and Josephine LaRue.
Memorial visitation to remember Jo Ann Blanchard took place on Saturday, May 26, 2018, at Ryan Funeral Home, Nevada. A luncheon followed at the First United Methodist Church, Nevada, after the visitation. Condolences may be expressed online at www.ryanfunerals.com.
At Jo Ann’s request, memorials in lieu of flowers may be directed to: Nevada First United Methodist Church, 1036 7th Street, Nevada, IA 50201, 515-382-6536; or to Story County 4-H Endowment Fund, Story County Extension, 220 H Avenue, P.O. Box 118, Nevada, IA 50201-0118, 515-382-6551.
As it is mentioned in Luke 1:46 “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” Jo Ann Blanchard’s soul magnified the Lord in all that she did and said.
Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada was entrusted with the care of Jo Ann and her family.