Jo Ann Bitcon
Jo Ann Elizabeth Franke Bitcon was born on December 14, 1933 in West Union, Iowa the daughter of Lois and Vincent (VJ) Franke. She was raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa and later moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1947. She graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1952. Jo Ann received her B.A. Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1954.
On December 31, 1954 Jo Ann Was united in marriage to Lyle D. Bitcon in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Following the wedding, they made their home in Cedar Falls, Iowa while Lyle finished classes at UNI and Jo Ann taught school in Denver, Iowa.
In the fall of 1955, the couple moved to Traer, Iowa. Lyle taught science and math while coaching football, wrestling and track and field. Jo Ann began teaching in the elementary school.
In 1958, Lyle left education and purchased Hiland Insurance and began a career in the insurance business. Jo Ann took time off from her teaching career to raise two sons – Rodney Duane (1958) and Bradford Frank (1960). She returned to the classroom in 1965 to teach Junior High English. Jo Ann would retire in 1997, but continued to substitute until 2014.
She was a member of the United Methodist Church and enjoyed volunteering several organizations.
Jo Ann loved life and had the unique ability to communicate and socialize with all ages and people from all walks of life. She loved doing things with her family and traveling. Annual visits to see her sister-in-law, Marilyn in Scottsdale, Arizona and Jaco, Costa Rica were favorite destinations.
She had a warm heart, quick wit and an engaging sense of humor. Jo Ann was a sports enthusiast and love to attend Iowa Hawkeye and UNI Panther sporting events – both home and away. She could be found on the golf course playing the game she loved or enjoying cards with friends. She and Lyle could always be found on the dance floor or attending a concert. During her spare time, she would attend to her beautiful flowers or sit down to enjoy a captivating book.
Jo Ann died at the age of 87 on November 14, 2021 following a brief illness. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 57 years, a sister, Mary Jean Gugh (Don), and a brother John Franke (Susan). Jo Ann is survived by two sisters, Margaret Franke Bye (Gary) and Carole Franke Snell, and two sons, Rodney of Waterloo, Iowa and Brad (Ava) of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Services are pending for mid-December. Memorials may be directed to the family. Overton Funeral Home in Traer is in charge of arrangements. 319-478-2775. Condolences may be left at www.overtonfuneralhomes.com