JoAnn Alice (Grugel) Frank, 91, died suddenly on Monday, November 19, 2018 in the presence of her immediate family while recovering from a fall earlier in the month. A resident of Abbington Assisted Living in Pickerington, Ohio, she was born February 19, 1927 in Amherst, Ohio, the daughter of the late Emma Marie Christie and Frank William Grugel.
JoAnn attended schools in Elyria, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan and was attending the MB Johnson School of Nursing when she met her future husband, Jack Arthur Frank. Married in 1948, they moved to Pomona, California where their first son, John Alan was born in 1949. They went on to have four more children, Kathryn Emma (1951), William Arthur ‘Billy’ (1956-1983), David Patrick (1957-2018) and Sara Lou (1967).
JoAnn was an incredibly warm-hearted person who combined being a loving wife and mother with teaching Sunday School at St. John Lutheran Church (Elyria), Cub Scout Den Mother and Girl Scout Advisor, independent Avon Sales Lady, and PTA Member and President among many of her contributions to the communities wherever she happened to live. With her young family she enjoyed fishing and boating on Lake Erie, North Bay, Canada and Bellaire, Michigan. Her hobbies included gardening, cooking, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, reading (six books per week) and crafts. Like all the Grugels, she was musically inclined and loved teaching her grandchildren to play piano. When her children were grown she returned to nursing and worked many years as a Nurse in the Maternity Ward at Elyria Memorial Hospital before moving to the Elyria Health Department. She kept her nursing license well into her later years and always considered herself a ‘Registered Nurse’ above all else.
Travelling was a pleasure she enjoyed with her husband Jack and family. They travelled often to Europe (England, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Italy and Luxembourg) to visit son, John and family; and throughout the continental USA including New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida and Key West. Upon retiring in 1989, JoAnn and Jack moved to Cape Coral, Florida where she went to work at the North Fort Myers Health Department and later the AIDS Task Force. With her sister, Viola Turner, she volunteered to teach English to Spanish-speaking residents. She and Jack enjoyed entertaining family and friends in their lovely new home overlooking a freshwater canal. Known for their lively family BBQ’s and holiday parties, they lived life to the fullest until illness and old age began to slow them down. When Jack became too ill for JoAnn to care for, they moved to Pickerington, Ohio to live with daughter Sara and her husband Joshua Walker and grandson, Tristan Jack. After the death of her husband, JoAnn lived for a short time in Florida prior to moving to her final home at Abbington.
Along with her parents, JoAnn was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Arthur Frank in 2017, sisters Viola M. (Grugel) Turner in 2017 and Elinor A. (Grugel) Gatz in 2011, her brother, Frank Grugel, Jr. in 1986, and sons William A. in 1983 and David P. just three days prior on Nov 16th.
JoAnn is survived by her son John (Maria-José Orti), daughters Kathryn Gilliam (Kenneth) and Sara L Walker (Joshua), grandchildren John Arthur Frank (Krista Marie), Jennifer Ann Frank, Viola S. Binz, William H. Frank (Stephanie), Daniel P. Frank, Ashley N. Frank Johnston (Luke), Tristan J. Walker and four great-grandchildren, Kira, Will, Blake and Weston, loving daughters-in-law, Donna Messer Smith and Anne B. Frank, and good friends who became family ‘son’ Joal Laird and ‘daughter’ Monika Rodgers.
JoAnn will be missed by all who were blessed to have known her. The family has arranged a memorial celebration for her and David on December 1st at the AMVETS Hall in Sheffield Lake, Ohio from 1 to 4 PM.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Autism Society of Central Ohio or Pelontonia Cancer Research Fund Rider #JW0302.