Jo Anne Widestrom was born to Alma Katherine Clara Wendt and Lawrence Elmer Widestrom on July 2, 1946. She was baptized on August 11, 1946 at Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manson, Iowa where she grew up and was confirmed on October 30, 1960. Jo Anne graduated from Manson Community High School on May 26, 1964, she then attended Fort Dodge Community College for one year before deciding to move to Texas to be closer to her sister Marie. After moving back to Iowa in 1965, she started working for Look Magazine in Des Moines until January,1972 when she quickly accepted a position with the State of Iowa in the Department of General Services and Information, she was employed there for 34 1⁄2 years. It was there she met her best friend Marsha Von Ruden. Jo and Marsha retired on the same day, July 13, 2006, and held a joint party. With the retirement money they were given at the party, they purchased fundraising bricks that were placed on a sidewalk at the Iowa State Fairgrounds near the Administrator building. She was an active and cherished member of Windsor Heights Lutheran Church and contributed to many charities throughout the years. Jo Anne enjoyed traveling all across the United States, and also to Spain and Hawaii. With her sister Eileen, she had a passion for genealogy and travelled all over Iowa and Illinois to research their family history.
Jo Anne is preceded in death by her parents, Alma K. and Lawrence E. Widestrom, sisters Lucille Miller (Robert), Bernadine Widestrom, Marie Ackers (Norm), Audrey Widestrom, and one brother, William Widestrom (Karen). She is survived by her sisters Lorna Hammen (Don), and Eileen Junkman (Dwane), many loving nieces and nephews, and extended family.
Memorials may be directed to the Windsor Heights Lutheran Church.