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Pause One True Love by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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“Praying for your family. Knowing that you are in heaven ”
1 of 8 | Posted by: Debra Follett - Fort Wayne, IN

“My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your mother was an inspiration to so many people. Loved her dearly. I know she is in heaven. ”
2 of 8 | Posted by: Deb Follett - Fort Wayne, IN

“Sending love and prayers to family. ”
3 of 8 | Posted by: Denise Brown - Black Hawk, CO

“Always taking care of others, finding deep joy with her grands and great-grand children, delighting the warm sun of Mazatlan, Mexico, a sister who...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Jean Hodges - Boulder CO

“My deepest sympathy for your loss. Jo was a lovely, spirited lady with a zest for life. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. ”
5 of 8 | Posted by: Deb Henschen - Fort Wayne, IN

“My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Jody. ”
6 of 8 | Posted by: Deb Follett - Fort Wayne, IN

“I was so lucky to work with Jo for 15 years at the Art Museum. She was an amazing gift to the community. Miss her. ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: Max Meyer - Fort Wayne, IN

“I will dearly miss this lovely lady. I also am praying for the whole family at this time of grief and want to send my condolences to the family....Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Leanna Evans - Fort Wayne, IN


Joanne Kay Nelson (Hodges) was born in Beaver Falls, PA, November 16, 1930, and passed peacefully in Fort Wayne, IN, on April 6, 2018. Born the youngest of three, she lost her mother at an early age, creating a lifelong bond with her two older brothers, especially Jack. While at Aliquippa High School, she met Don Nelson, the love of her life. They married, moved to Fort Wayne, IN for Don's employment at General Electric and raised a family of four girls. Joanne loved being a mother and taught her girls to cook, clean, and be creative in so many aspects of daily life. She accepted all the animals the girls brought home: mice, fish, squirrels, cats, dogs, birds, and her children grew up loving pets. She led Brownie and Girl Scout Programs. She completed her Master of Education Degree at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne graduating the same day her oldest daughter, Sheryl graduated from high school. She taught 5th then 6th grade at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Fort Wayne. She was a gifted, ambitious teacher, continually challenging her students and establishing lasting friendships with them and their families. Math and Science were her favorite subjects. Her passion for learning inspired hundreds of young people. After 23 years of teaching, she volunteered at Lutheran Hospital and then joined the Fort Wayne Museum of Art as an enthusiastic docent. Her dedication to Simpson Gethsemane United Methodist Church was a large part of her life-long service to Christ. She taught Sunday School, ran summer Bible School Programs, and Before and After the Bell Programs. She was a prolific reader and politically involved. She loved gardening, art, the theater, and classical music. Joanne was a world traveler attending the annual Summer Shakespeare festivals at Stratford in Canada and visiting China, Egypt, Russia, Germany, France, and several National Parks with friends and family. She and Don maintained a timeshare in Mazatlan on the west coast of Mexico, and a second home in Clearwater, Florida where many family memories were created. Joanne lived a long life of integrity and purpose. She gave generously of her time, talents and resources to many human service agencies and political causes, locally and beyond.
Most of all, she was committed to loving her family. Surviving are her daughters, Sheryl Nelson of Atlanta, GA, Linda (Mark) Nelson Keane of Shorewood, WI, Jody Nelson (Eric) of Fort Wayne; grandchildren, Sheree(Jim)Meadows, Erik (Amy), and Heath (Beronica) Drummond; John (Aaron), Ariel, Briana (Sean), and James Keane; Chase (Jessica) and Fletcher Hartline; seven great-grandchildren with another on the way. Joanne was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Don C. Nelson; daughter, Nancy Jo Nelson; brothers, John(Jack) and James Hodges. A celebration of Joanne's life will be held April 28, 2018: at 5 pm at Simpson Gethsemane United Methodist Church with calling one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fort Wayne Art Museum, Hope House, or Matthew 25. D.O. McComb and Sons Foster Park Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Saturday, April 28
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM    3680715 3777361 20180428T160000 20180428T170000

Simpson Gethsemane United Methodist Church

2501 S. Harrison Street Fort Wayne, IN 46807


Saturday, April 28
5:00 PM    3680716 3777362 20180428T170000

Simpson Gethsemane United Methodist Church

2501 S. Harrison Street Fort Wayne, IN 46807