Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Joann Schatz

| June 15, 2021 7:00 AM

Our devoted mother and wife, Joann R. Schatz passed away on Oct. 2, 2020, on the eve of her 66th wedding anniversary. Born in Harvey, IL on June 10, 1937 to George and Retha Stelmach, Joann spent most of her childhood growing up on the same street. She was part of a close-knit, multigenerational community of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, so she learned early on how important it was to care for those around her. She met Richard E. Schatz one day while he was walking his dog. A simple whistle in his direction and he was smitten. They were soon married in October 1954. Dick and Joann built a life together; she maintained the home and raised four children while he worked as an industrial electrician. Even while enjoying various hobbies, raising dogs, and working part-time, her children were everything to her. Even after they retired and moved back to Dick’s hometown of Troy, she looked forward to every summer visit from her boys. Montana was hard on her; it wasn’t easy to break into the local crowd, but Joan and Bud Thomas welcomed her with open arms and they quickly became good friends. She enjoyed many years before health concerns brought her leisure retirement to an end. She stoically took on every health problem she encountered and never gave up. Even after one stroke after another robbed her of her speech and the simple joy of communicating. Her children were equally devoted to her and continued to rush out to Montana with each crisis and vacation every summer at their log home. She remembered each visit and cherished every moment with them. Last Mother’s Day, she got to meet her new great-grandchildren over a Zoom call and last August she met her first great-grandchild in person. Joann valued honesty and loyalty above everything else, so if you didn’t possess those, she had no time for you. During her last moments, her husband and daughter were by her side. Joann is survived by her husband Dick, four children Michael (Karen) of Eau Claire, Bruce (Stacey) of Lockport, Dawn (Charlie) of Clark Fork, and David (Sherri) of Aurora. She’s also survived by great-grandchildren: Dustin, Michael C., Sam, Skye, Melannie, and Emma; great-grandchildren: Wrigley, Masyn, Marlee Jo, and Hunter. She also leaves behind her only brother, George Stelmach (Rosmary) of Phoenix. A celebration of her life will be held at the Spur on June 12 at 3 p.m.