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JoAnn Ward-Mutchie

Updated: Jun 7

JoAnn Ward-Mutchie was born September 10, 1948, in Norfolk, Nebraska to Leonard and Rosita Collette Abler.

JoAnn leaves behind her children; Jennifer (and Kelly Mace), Mike (and Yoko Robart), Janelle (and Dave Schaefer), stepchildren; Bobbi (and Jerry Valentine), Chad (and Lacey Ward), Dave Kappel, also 10 grandchildren; Collette and Vallie Mace, Jace Robart, Emma and Weston Schaefer, Justin and Leah Valentine, Zach, Bixby and Augie Ward, a great-grandchild; James, and her beloved dog Cora.  She also leaves behind her sisters; Judy (and Denny Goins), Jeanne (and Jim Patton), Mary Claire (and Kirby Sullivan), and her brother John Abler, along with many more family and friends.  JoAnn was loved by all that knew her and deeply devoted to her family. 

JoAnn worked for 23 years as a speech pathologist with the Des Moines Public Schools.  She was always there to support and offer help to students and staff alike.  Leaving behind many friends to this day.  Once you met her you were more than friends, you became family.  Outgoing and happy, JoAnn would support and listen to everyone.

JoAnn loved to go shopping and would find the most uniquely perfect gifts for everyone.  Truly enjoying the pleasure of giving made her the happiest.  Pets were also a big part of her life.  She was rarely without a furry friend and was always willing to take in a stray.

JoAnn also knew loss and sadness in her life twice widowed.  The heartache of losing Jim Ward and again Dave Mutchie was almost too much to bear, but through her faith in God she overcame her grief.  She continued to lift up others and herself by spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  She was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and did her daily rosary prayers.

We will all miss and mourn JoAnn’s passing, but our memories will sustain us until we meet her again in paradise.

JoAnn, go in God’s peace and love…  We will remember you in our prayers and love you forever.


5:00pm to 7:00pm

Monday June 10, 2024

St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, Iowa



Tuesday, June 11, 2024

St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, Iowa



Joann and I were neighbors and classmates and we walked or biked to school many times in grade school. To her family, I'm sincerely sorry for your loss.

Jane Carter Gibbs


Oh, that's a beautiful tribute for a beautiful person. Joann became my first friend when I moved to Iowa--how?--'cause she came up, gave me a sweet smile, and introduced herself--that's why! No hesitation--she was just genuinely interested in meeting me and making my first days at a new school as pleasant as possible. And she was a dream to collaborate and work with for so many years. She was also a social butterfly--and between Joann, Patty Campos, and a couple others--you knew all the news happening at work! My bookshelf, desk, and my kids dresser tops are homes to so many little "I saw that and thought of you" tchotchkes from Joann/"Grandma Joann". And how in the world did she…

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