Jo Ann LaRee Vrana Kadlec-Johnson
January 16, 1933 – September 4, 2019
Jo Ann LaRee Vrana Kadlec-Johnson, 86, reunited with her family and friends in Heaven on September 4, 2019. She was loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother, a retired teacher and business owner.
Jo Ann was born the youngest of 4 children to Alice (Mikulecky) and Joseph Vrana on January 16, 1933, on the farm southeast of Agenda, KS. She attended the elementary schools; Seapo, Turkey Creek and Agenda Rural Elementary. Jo Ann graduated from Agenda High School in 1950 and worked for the Ratt’s Electric Co. in Concordia, KS. She married Gerald Gene Kadlec on September 10, 1950 and they lived on a farm near Munden, KS.
Two daughters were born to this union, Kathleen Alleise and Joleen LaRee. In 1956, they moved to Fairbury, NE where Jo All graduated from Fairbuy Junior College with a teaching degree. She took on and off campus courses from Kansas State Teachers College and from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Jo Ann taught her first year in a rural school with eight grades plus kindergarten. She taught in Steel City, NE for several years and in the Fairbury, NE school system for three years. Jo Ann would teach mornings at one school and afternoons at another school…And, with her daughters in different schools, she was involved in 4 PTA groups every month!
In June 1963, the family moved to Wichita, KS where Gerald was supervisor of a company that built two-way communications towers up to 400’ high. Jo Ann was the Office and Operations Manager of the 24-hour telephone answering service. Both were employed at General Communications Service and Systems Inc. Jo Ann became Vice-President and worked there until the company sold in 1988. She then bought the telephone answering division, Answercom, from GCS. She owned and managed it until her health failed and she sold the company in 1992. Jo Ann continued to work part time, managing Gragg’s Fur and Laura’s Fur Salon until 1996, when she retired.
Throughout her working years, she continued her education in Accounting and Business Management thru Wichita State University. Jo Ann completed the Dale and Dorothy Carnegie Self Improvement, Business Management and Sales seminars and was assistant instructor for several years. Throughout her life she participated in many organization, including church, PTA, the American Business Women’s Association and became National Vice President for District III. She served every office in that association and was nominated Boss of the Year twice. Jo Ann was President of ATAE (Associated Telephone Answering Exchange) South Central division and served on the National and International Board of Directors for 6 years. She was the founding member of the Kansas Association of Telephone Answering Services. For 6 years she served as Chairman and Team Teacher for the National Supervisor Management Seminars and taught throughout the US.
Jo Ann served 6 years as Secretary/Treasurer for the National Association of Two-Way Radio Systems (The Telocator). She was the first Senior Regent for the new founding chapter of The Women of the Moose in Wichita and served in every capacity. She received many awards and tributes from professional organizations.
Jo Ann and Gerald loved to travel. They visited the ancestral castle in Czechoslovakia and Vrana and Kadlec families. They traveled most of the 50 United States. This is when Jo Ann embroidered most of the cardinal blocks for her quilt. The quilt was finished by Mennonite church quilters who hand stitched it. Gerald passed away while he and Jo Ann were visiting Jo Ann’s sister, Joyce and her family in Prescott, AZ.
The things Jo Ann loved most and was most proud of were her family, her love of Jesus and her Czechoslovakian heritage, and she loved collecting Czech crystal. Other interests include embroidery, reading, journal writing and, of course, dancing. Jo Ann had flawlessly manicured nails (which she did herself most of the time) and her hair was salon perfect.
In 1997, Jo Ann married a wonderful and good friend of the family, Bryce Newman Johnson. They traveled to the Holy Land, Greece, all over Europe, Portugal and they traveled America by car. They enjoyed 12 years together. Bryce passed away in 2009.
Jo Ann enjoyed 9 years of Fun time with sister Joyce and their daughters on their Girls Week adventures, from 2008 to 2019. And, even though they lived thousands of miles apart, Jo Ann and Joyce managed to spend several weeks a year together, as health permitted.
Jo Ann is preceded in death by husband, Gerald Gene Kadlec; her parents, Alice and Joseph Vrana; her sister, Valerie Jane Trzicky; brother, Othal Dean Vrana; and second husband, Bryce Newman Johnson. Her loving, constantly faithful, little furry companions of over 13 years, Sassha and Brady, have also passed. She leaves behind her sister, Joyce Vrana Chavey and her family in Arizona; two daughters, Kathleen Kadlec Knodel Dennis and her husband, Charlie Anderson, Joleen Kadlec Monares and her husband David Monares; granddaughter, Krystal Shawn Knodel Brockus and her husband, Michael Brockus, all in Wichita; grandson, Aaron John Knodel and his wife Jana in Mulvane, KS; great-grandchildren, Taylor and Taryn Brockus, Jorja, Jaden and Josie Knodel; and three great-great-grandchildren, Rhaely Brockus, twins, Amirah and Davin Brockus. She will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by ALL.
- Joyce Vrana Chavey, Sister
- Kathleen Kadlec Knodel Dennis, Daughter
- Charlie Anderson, Son-in-law
- Joleen Kadlec Monares, Daughter
- David Monares, Son-in-law
- Krystal (Michael) Shawn Knodel Brockus, Grandchild
- Aaron (Jana) John Knodel, Grandchild
- Taylor Brockus, Great-Grandchild
- Taryn Brockus, Great-Grandchild
- Jorja Knodel, Great-Grandchild
- Jaden Knodel, Great-Grandchild
- Josie Knodel, Great-Grandchild
- Rhaely Brockus, Great-Great-Grandchild
- Amirah Brockus, Great-Great-Grandchild
- Davin Brockus, Great-Great-Grandchild
- Gerald Gene Kadlec, Husband (deceased)
- Alice Vrana, Mother (deceased)
- Joseph Vrana, Father (deceased)
- Valerie Jane Trzicky, Sister (deceased)
- Othal Dean Vrana, Brother (deceased)
- Bryce Newman Johnson, Second Husband (deceased)
- Chris Chavey, Casket Bearer
- Dana Chavey, Casket Bearer
- Charles Vrana, Casket Bearer
- Michael Brockus, Casket Bearer
- Joey Vrana, Casket Bearer
- Andrew McDowell, Casket Bearer
- Richary Trzicky, Honorary Casket Bearer
- Tom Vrana, Honorary Casket Bearer
- John Vrana, Honorary Casket Bearer
- Randall Burton, Honorary Casket Bearer
Parkinson's Association of the Plains
5015 East 29th Street North , Wichita, Kansas 67220
- Visitation Thursday, September 12, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, September 13, 2019
Jo Ann LaRee Vrana Kadlec-Johnson
September 12, 2019
The world just lost one of the most loving and caring human beings that I have ever known. The Lord decided it was time to come home. You will be missed. We love you and will miss you.
Chris and Breanna Burton and family
Nick and Kathleen Burton
September 12, 2019
There are so many things you wish you could have done with a person, so many things you wish you would have told them before your chance had passed you by.
There simply is not enough space on this message board to express all the love we have for you. You may be gone from our sight but you will forever remain in our hearts and minds.
Although this is a somber time for all of us that remain on this earthly plane we all can rejoice in the knowledge that you are now free and at peace, you can now rest.
Love always, Nickelos and Kathleen Burton Alyssa Lawson
September 11, 2019
With such sadness, I am grateful for the day back in 1973 when I met Joanne's daughter Jody, my dear friend for all of these years, in Colorado. Jody's mom ( and dad) were second "parents" to me the fall of 1973. I took took the bus back and forth from Wichita to McPherson on the weekends and Jody's mom always packed lots of food for me. I still have the lovely gifts they gave me, some hanging on my walls. I got to know her family well, and they always treated me like "family". Yes, she always looked great from her hair to her nails to her clothes. I am so thankful for my enduring friendship to Jody and Kathy, their families (Kristi- I remember you very young) and the love they always showed me. My heart goes out to all of you.