Jo Ann Shrader, 83, a good and faithful servant, passed away peacefully on September 6, 2020 at PRMC, Fort Wayne. Jo Ann, the eldest of seven children, was born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 29, 1937. While still in high school, Jo Ann worked as a counter girl for Woolworth’s and later at the Stewart Dry Goods Company to put herself through school. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Spalding College. While still in college, she was recruited by the Sisters of Charity at Spalding to become the first lay teacher in the Louisville Catholic School System, beginning her career teaching second graders at St. Leo the Great School in Highland Park. She met her husband William Shrader in 1963, while both were members of the same wedding party. After a Christmas engagement in 1964, they were wed on August 28, 1965, and were happily married for 53 years until Bill’s death in 2019. After relocating to Fort Wayne, Jo Ann taught at Sacred Heart School until starting her own family. She devoted herself to her three daughters as a stay-at-home mom. Throughout those years, she was a room mother, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, and an occasional substitute teacher at St. Jude School. Once her children were grown, she earned a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Francis University. For many years, she volunteered at St. Jude School supporting children who had difficulty reading. A voracious reader herself, she enjoyed books from mysteries to histories. She had a passion for one book in particular, the Bible. She was active for many years in Bible Study Fellowship, BSF, completing all ten studies. She began and ended each day in contemplative prayer. She loved to host parties, especially at Christmastime, and was renowned for her egg nog and fruitcakes, both made with a healthy dose of fine Kentucky bourbon. She was a devoted grandmother, affectionately known as "Maw Maw," and took great joy in her three grandchildren, their accomplishments, and their extended summertime visits spent in and around the pool. Jo Ann was proceeded in death by her husband William, parents James and Josephine Hulsmeyer, and brothers James and Jerome. Left to cherish her memory are her three daughters, Christina Buchan (Bruce), Cathleen Shrader (James Fenton), and Cynthia Conway (Joseph), three grandchildren, Callahan, Erin, and Renny Conway, brother Jack Hulsmeyer (Marilyn), sisters Judy Vogt, Jean Gayhart (Rick), and Janice Kaelin (Rudy), as well as dear friends and extended family. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 11, 2020 (viewing one hour prior) at St. Jude Catholic Church, Fort Wayne, Msgr. Robert Schulte, officiating. Visitation from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, with the rosary at 4:30 p.m. at Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave. Burial will be in the Catholic Cemetery. Preferred memorials to the Virginia Talarico Scholarship Fund at St. Jude School or the Heart of the Nation Catholic Mass.
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