HOPKINS, Minn. — Joan K. Bartz, of Hopkins, Minn., passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2019.
Born March 14, 1932, in Menomonie, to Alvin and Evelyn (Worachek) Kothlow, Joan (“Jo”) graduated from Chippewa Falls High School and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Joan married Ross Bartz, her high school sweetheart, and they were happily married for over 60 years. In 1956, Jo began her career at Hopkins High School while completing a Master’s degree in educational psychology and counseling from the University of Minnesota. Loved by students and faculty alike, she worked at the high school for 33 years, first as a teacher and then as a counselor, mentoring students.
After Jo’s retirement, she continued working to help others. She was a founding member of ResourceWest, and an active volunteer at the Hopkins Women’s Club and Empty Bowls. Jo was a Founding Board Member and Ambassador of the Hopkins Education Foundation. Always sunny and cheerful, and keeping a positive attitude, she maintained close contacts with many friends throughout her life. As a testament to the profound impact Jo had on her former students, many of them became lifelong friends.
Among Jo’s many passions and activities, she was a gifted pianist, fluent in French, loved attending theater, never missed a Vikings game, and was a passionate supporter of Hopkins boys and girls basketball. One of her favorite places was the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where she delighted in exploring the magnificent gardens and introducing the Arboretum to others. She maintained a flawless yard and an impeccable, beautiful house, and was always generous and eager to host guests at her home.
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Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Ross; and brother, Bill.
She is survived by her sister, Sally (David) Kocher; their children, Kristine (Chris) and Julie (Lars).; sister-in-law, Carol Bartz; her children, Cary and Steve (Pam); many loving friends, and the world’s best dog, Chloe.
A celebration of Jo’s life will be held Sunday, May 19 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, Minn. The celebration will be from 1 to 4 p.m. with a program starting at 2 p.m.