Joan E. "Jo" Spitzley

Jo SptizleyWe lost our amazing mom, grandma and great-grandma on January 14, 2015, at the age of 84.  She was born on October 23, 1930, in Muskegon, to John and Helen Wichtoski, and grew up in Lansing. She graduated from St. Mary’s in 1949 as the class valedictorian, married Delbert, raised 9 children, then worked as a bookkeeper for the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing.

Joan was one of the first members of St. Therese Catholic Church and was a member of St. Bernadette’s Circle.  She was extremely devoted to her religion and to her family and friends.  If you had a friend in Joan, you had a friend for life.  She looked forward to big family dinners on Sundays and holidays, the annual Oberlin Halloween party, and being anywhere that she could spend time with family and friends.  She adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved having them around her.  She also loved to read, bowl, visit casinos, play cards and dice, and walk.  She enjoyed vacationing in Northern Michigan and spending winters in Florida and Arizona in the motor home.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Delbert; her son Jim; and siblings Jean, Jackie, John and Arlene.  Surviving are her children, Jackie & Jeff Smith, Kathy & Greg Matheny, Maggie & Jerry Laban, Joanie Pereida, Terry & Paul Knapp, John Spitzley, Jerry Spitzley, Peggy Spitzley, and Joe & Yvette Spitzley; 26 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; sisters, Carol Wichtoski and Alice Wyatt; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am, Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 102 W. Randolph St., Lansing, with the Rite of Committal in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.  Joan’s family will receive friends at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm, Monday with a Rosary at 7 pm.  Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association or Great Lakes Caring Hospice in memory of Joan.  A special thank you to mom’s caregivers/family at Bickford Assisted Living in Okemos for providing remarkable care for the past 6 years.

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4 Messages to “Joan E. "Jo" Spitzley

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Mary Aldrich
January 16, 2015 at 11:12 am

You will be missed by many but I know you are with Delbert planning that next RV trip!!! RIP

Becky (Howard) Weir
January 17, 2015 at 9:34 am

I have lots of fond memories of coming over to your house as a kid and hanging out with Maggie. Your Mom was always in the kitchen baking and cooking something. She used to take us over to Powell’s Pool on Sat. to swim while she sat in a chair with the other ladies trying to keep an eye on what seemed like 100 kids… that was always a highlight in the summer!!!! She was a kind and patient lady….always very nice to me.
I’m sure she’s in a better place now with your Dad and Jim. My sympathies to all of you.

Kathy Matheny
January 19, 2015 at 8:52 am

I had many talks with mom before her homegoing. It makes me happy to know after our discussions that she is with her Savior Jesus Christ in heaven, after trusting Him and Him alone as her personal Savior, and that she has eternal life with Him. Someday I will see you again. Love you Mom.

Kath Wilkinson Hellum
January 20, 2015 at 7:54 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Your mom was a wonderful woman. I know the past several years were challenging for Jo, but in my memory she will always be the lady with the beautiful, bright eyes and the calm—yet knowing—smile.


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