Jo Ann Nolin obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Jo Ann Nolin

April 3, 1954 - May 16, 2017

Obituary


Jo Nolin was a serious devotee and avid reader of obituaries. Therefore, it is rather daunting to write hers because if it doesn't tell an interesting story in a unique way, she would be very disappointed. Here goes.
Jo Ann Keebler was born on April 3, 1954 in the U.S. Army hospital in Sendai, Japan, the fifth child of Major Joseph Filiere Keebler and Nora Margaret Keebler. Being a military family, they were assigned to Army posts overseas, including Wurzburg, Germany. It was there that Jo spent most of her early childhood, years which...

Jo Nolin was a serious devotee and avid reader of obituaries. Therefore, it is rather daunting to write hers because if it doesn't tell an interesting story in a unique way, she would be very disappointed. Here goes.
Jo Ann Keebler was born on April 3, 1954 in the U.S. Army hospital in Sendai, Japan, the fifth child of Major Joseph Filiere Keebler and Nora Margaret Keebler. Being a military family, they were assigned to Army posts overseas, including Wurzburg, Germany. It was there that Jo spent most of her early childhood, years which coincided with the building of the Berlin Wall and the hottest years of the Cold War. A grade-school-aged Jo and her two slightly older brothers at times would sneak out of their apartment without adult supervision and hop ferries, trains, and busses and travel at will around Germany, sometimes dressed in traditional German garb to panhandle spare change from tourists by singing songs in German.
The family moved back to the States when Jo was in 4th grade and settled in Upland, California where Jo met numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time, and she began to make other friendships that lasted her entire life. In middle school and high school, she was an active participant in G.A.A. and student government, and she was elected "Most Likely to Succeed" in her Senior year at Upland High School. After graduation in 1972, Jo disregarded her father's suggestion that she enter the management training program for Winchell's Donuts and went to college instead. As her father believed women didn't need college, he bought her a new coat, gave her $500.00, and wished her "good luck."
While at the University of Redlands, Jo continued to make new and everlasting friends and hurried to complete her B.A. in History in three years. She spent some volunteer hours in the archives of the A.K. Smiley Public Library, and thanks to her hard work and the support of several of her professors, she studied at American University in Washington DC for a semester and interned at the World Bank under Robert McNamara. After graduation, she served as Resident Director at Anderson Hall at the U of R and took additional classes. It was during this time that she became reacquainted with and began dating a former Merriam Hall dormmate whom she would eventually marry. She transferred to Cal Poly Pomona after a short time and became Resident Director of Aliso and then Encinitas Halls.
Just before achieving State tenure as a "dorm mother," she married Jim Nolin in August, 1978, and moved into his house in San Bernardino, not with big bags of money made in the Keebler cookie business (much to Jim's dismay), but with most of her belongings in one suitcase and her very used Toyota Corona. She worked at Option House and then moved to San Bernardino Valley College as Tutorial Coordinator. Her first child, Thomas, was born in 1981. Shortly after the birth of her daughter, Rebecca, in 1984, she enrolled in the teacher credentialing program at Cal State San Bernardino. After completing all the requirements and training, she was hired as an English teacher at Moore Middle School. After a few years, she realized that middle school students were making her insane, so she happily went to work at Redlands High School as a Social Sciences teacher where she remained until 2010. In addition to teaching, Jo assisted several organizations and initiatives, including AVID, the Speech and Debate team, and the HEART Academy, and she continued to make new and lasting friends. Jo and the family moved to Redlands in 1992. In 2010, she began teaching at Citrus Valley High School where she remained until her retirement in 2016.
Jo really enjoyed teaching, and a huge majority of the professionals, parents, and students she encountered during those years were a joy and delight for her, as she hoped to be a joy and delight for them. There were a few in each category, however, who were real pains in the neck. Fewer still were the students, parents, and other professionals who were simply useless, horrible people. Her fondness for and appreciation of the "good guys" made the "bad guys" easier to take.
Jo was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June, 2014, and she held the disease at bay through surgery and chemotherapy for a time. She and Jim spent the months she was in remission to take some of their favorite California road trips, vacation in New York City, and go to New Hampshire for their daughter's wedding. She hoped not to die in her sleep because she "didn't want to miss anything." Jo finally succumbed to the disease (awake) in her own bed in her own house the evening of May 16, 2017 with her husband and children at her side.
Jo is survived by her husband, Jim, her son, Tom, of Santa Cruz, CA, her daughter, Becky (Tom Drescher) of Washington, DC; sister Margaret Herman of Loveland, OH, brother Jim (Kathy) of Orlando, FL, brother David (Lori) of Ventura, CA, brother Daniel (Carrie) of Wellington, NV; sister-in-law Nancy McGinnis of Oxnard, CA, sister-in-law Polly Bolton of Denver, CO, sister-in-law Jean Halsell of Camarillo, CA, brother-in-law Bob (Traci) of Whittier, CA (Jim's family always liked her better anyway); many cousins, dozens of nieces and nephews, and a legion of friends.
Jo did not want a funeral or memorial service because she thought they usually made people sad. Rather, she wanted Jim to host a party for her many friends and family with food and music, and for people to have a good time with each other; and so, he will, to recognize and celebrate Jo and their 39th wedding anniversary. As far as her legacy is concerned, Jo would be happy to know that people tried every day to be just a little kinder to one another in memory of her. For those inclined to make a monetary donation of any amount, she asked that those people might support any of the following groups: that those who shared her love and affection for the City of Redlands, and for history and learning, would direct donations to A.K. Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St, Redlands 92373; that those who wanted to encourage and support great teachers, donate to Alpha Delta Kappa, the International Honorary Organization for Women Educators, c/o M. Lehman, P.O. Box 309, Angeles Oaks 92305; that those who wanted to foster leadership, personal resposibilty, and good citizenship in young people, donate to Boy Scouts of America, Grayback District, P.O. Box 8910, Redlands 92375; that those who wanted to provide a better quality of life to people locally and around the world, donate to the Redlands Rotary Club Foundation, 131 Cajon St., Suite 5, Redlands 92373.
I hope you like your obituary, my pet. You are loved and we miss you.