JoAnn Carolyn (Chudomelka) Nuetzman of Estes Park, Colorado, passed to join her loving husband, Raymond, on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, at the age of 86 years. Jo, affectionately known as Nana, was a modern day Renaissance woman due to her love of travel and history, fun fashion sense and adventurous nature. She pursued a number of interesting careers and was a life-long learner.
JoAnn was born May 8, 1934, in Omaha, to Jerome Albert Sr. and Anna Carolyn (Nepodal) Chudomelka and was the youngest of three children, with brothers Jerome Albert Jr. and Richard. Jo was a graduate of Schuyler High School and attended St. Catherine’s Nurses Training in Omaha. She was proud to say that she was a minister’s wife, of Czech heritage and that she was a nurse. She did private nursing care in Colorado, worked as a caregiver at nursing homes, was a church camp nurse and traveled with college groups to Europe as a tour group nurse.
JoAnn met her future husband, Ray, while singing in the church choir in Schuyler. She married her handsome lay preacher on Oct. 27, 1953. They were married for 61 years until his passing in 2014. The couple moved to Colorado Springs the next year to serve St. Paul’s Methodist Church while Ray attended Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
The family moved back to Nebraska to serve the St. Edward Methodist Church in 1957 for five years before moving to Seward in 1962, staying for 11 years. During their time in Seward, Jo worked as a nurse, then as the high school secretary for Concordia High School. She then became the Psychology Department secretary at Concordia Teachers College. In 1973, the family moved to Kearney, where Jo was the assistant to the graduate dean and then the assistant to the art department dean at Kearney State College for many years.
The couple moved to Estes Park in 1991, where in semi-retirement, they enjoyed their beautiful Rocky Mountains and being near nature. Jo enjoyed comforting people at the Allnutt Funeral Home and working for the Nature Association in RMNP. She took pride in showing her knowledge of nature and historical facts while visiting with people from all over the world.
She and Ray loved to travel together, whether throughout North America or across the sea to Europe. Jo always knew her history and researched prior to each trip, bringing home beautiful souvenirs that adorned their home and as presents for loved ones. Jo was a creative person who expressed herself through fashion and was a good seamstress. She enjoyed doing projects, reading and attending Bible study and church fellowship in Estes.
JoAnn always encouraged and supported her two girls academically and in the arts. She told them frequently how proud she was of them and was also proud of her two grandchildren. She treated her son-in-laws as sons.
Missing her are her daughters, Suzanne Jo Mayo and her husband Gerald of Estes Park, Deborah Rae Soneson and her husband Jeff of Holdrege; two grandchildren, Kirsten Soneson and her husband Angel Hernandez of Omaha and Evan Soneson of Lincoln; and a special great-grandson Hudson Mayo of Whittier, California, as well as extended family and dear friends.
Preceding her to her heavenly home were her beloved husband, Raymond E. Nuetzman; her parents; parents-in-law; two brothers, and many relatives and special friends.
A private family Celebration of Life ceremony will be held in the mountains in the spring. Memorial contributions are suggested to CNA and caregiver educational scholarships.