JoAnn Jenkins Kearney lived a life full of joy and love. She passed away as she lived with grace and gratitude while surrounded by her children on the first day of Spring, in Lafayette, CO. Jo was the daughter of Joe and Virginia Jenkins, born on August 14, 1940 in Cloquet, MN. She graduated from Cloquet High School and the University of Colorado with a BA in Elementary Education. Jo was a bright light, everyone who knew her loved her.
Jo's greatest joy was her family. She met the love of her life, John Kearney during her senior year at the University of Colorado. They were married the next fall and raised five children who were devoted to her. She managed the lively Kearney household, which was filled with laughter, giant bowls of ice cream, forts and love. Jo taught her kids to lead with love. Nightly family dinners anchored and strengthened the Kearney's bond and guests were always welcomed. For the last 40 years the family has gathered during the summer months at Big Lake, MN, Jo's favorite place on earth. Jo's unique relationship with her 11 grandchildren filled her up. She adored them and gave the gift of seeing each in their true light.
Jo loved her wide circle of friends. The activities she shared with them were mostly an excellent excuse to get together. She was a fierce competitor—a velvet hammer some may say. For many years Jo was a top ranked Colorado senior tennis player in both singles and doubles. She celebrated her best golf score just last fall. She was a lifelong avid student of the game of bridge and in jest would say that her double major in college was in Education and Bridge.
Jo was a genuine philanthropist giving of her time and generous heart to those in need. Her memberships in the Alpha Phi Sorority and the PEO Sisterhood were deeply rewarding. She was a dedicated lifelong student of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy and served the Christian Science Church in Boulder in many capacities for five decades.
Jo's adventurous spirit took flight when she was in her teens. As an AFS exchange student Jo left her sheltered small town life in Minnesota and traveled by boat to Germany to spend the summer. Two years later she departed for college in Boulder, Colorado. In the early years, she loved camping and planning road trips with John, her five kids and the dog. In later years, in addition to visiting her family, Jo traveled the world including destinations in Africa, Paris, Monaco, Bali, Mexico, the Baltic and British Columbia with family and friends. She was up for anything!
Jo grew up in a musical family where she played the piano, organ, and cello. She especially loved listening to Jazz. She instilled the love of music in her children.
Jo was a super fan. She cultivated a vast knowledge of the NFL, the Broncos in particular, and could talk NFL with anybody. She was especially thrilled with their recent Super Bowl championship. She and John were longtime ticketholders to the University of Colorado Basketball games, and enjoyed their seats at the Rockies games. On any given afternoon, Jo could be found cheering on her kids in various activities. She extended her support to her grandkids and would eagerly hop on a plane to watch a game or performance.
Jo's professional life was based on being of service to others. After a pivotal typing class she worked at the University of Colorado for the Dean of the School of Education until 1985 when she acquired her real estate license. She loved the many friendships she made during her 30-year career. She served the Boulder Area Realtor Association in many capacities and while modest she was delighted to be named Realtor of the Year and Distinguished Realtor of the Year. She would tell you that her most important achievements were her happy clients and the long friendships she developed and kept during her years as a Realtor.
Jo is survived by her five children, Melinda Kearney, Allyson Evans (Robert), Neil Kearney (Kristy), Stephanie Hill (Brandan), Lesley Rockwood (Wade), her 11 grandchildren, her sisters Nancy Kitt and Patricia Chepokas, four nieces and two nephews. She was predeceased by her parents and her husband of 53 years, John Kearney.
A special note of gratitude is extended to the friends and angels who supported Jo and the family during this beautiful journey. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Emergency Family Assistance Association: EFAA.org and The First Church of Christ Scientist, Boulder: cschurchboulder.com
Jo made a difference in this world. Please join us in a celebration of her life on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm at the Byron White Stadium Club at Folsom Field in Boulder. Parking will be provided in the lot adjacent to the stadium, entrance on Folsom and Stadium Drive.