OBITUARY

Joanne Evelyn Witte

April 22, 1939November 30, 2020

Williamston formerly Lansing - Joanne Evelyn Witte-- Born April 22, 1939, Died November 30, 2020

Joanne was born to Maurice John Court, D.V. M. and Evelyn Mae Rollins Court. She graduated from Marcellus High School in 1957 as valedictorian. She attended Michigan State University where she met her future husband, James R. Clock. They were married on December 20, 1958 when Joanne was a sophomore and Jim was a senior.

After graduation as a civil engineer, Jim went to work for the Michigan Department of Transportation. When Joanne's first child Karen was a year and a half old, she returned to MSU to study elementary education graduating in 1962. After having two more children, Janice, and Bill, and working as a substitute teacher and cooperative nursery schoolteacher, Joanne finished her master's degree in 1976 in Early Childhood Development while also getting certified in Pre-School Special Education.

She began her teaching career in the Lansing Public Schools in 1976 and taught 4-year old special education students for seven years.

In July 1979, her beloved husband Jim and father of her three children died after a long illness.

In July 1980, Joanne married Lawrence N. Witte, a civil engineer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She also began working on her Ph.D. in special education administration which she received in 1985.

Larry introduced Joanne to hunting which she took to with great enthusiasm. She loved being in her blind on their hunting property where if she was not seeing animals, she could be found reading her ever present book. In addition to hunting in Michigan and the United States, they made eight trips to Africa, plus trips to Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, and Argentina. She shot dangerous game—leopard, lion, cape buffalo, hippo, alligator—plus many species of plains game. They led and exciting and adventurous life.

Joanne was a member of three Safari Club International chapters—Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, and Lansing. She was a board member in Mid-Michigan for 12 years and oversaw the Cumulative Record Book which showed the measurement of animals scored and entered in the chapter record book.

Joanne spent many hours tending to her flower gardens, volunteering at the local hospital, cooking, reading, and planning the five or more hunting trips they took each year. She also volunteered at Sparrow Hospital in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she massaged and rocked infants.

In October 2018, Larry passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Shortly after his death, Joanne moved to Williamston to be closer to her two daughters and their families and her son and his family who live outside Ann Arbor. During this time, the Williamston United Methodist Church became very important to her, especially her membership in the Prayer Keeper's group.

Joanne is survived by her children Karen (Gordon) Wenk, Janice Grundy, Bill (Barb) Clock; her step-children Laura (Mark) Carman and Loren (Melissa) Witte; grandchildren, Jim (Courtney) Grundy, Ian Wenk, Caitlyn Clock, Erin Wenk, Hayley Clock, J. R. Clock, Owen Witte and Morgen Witte; one great grandchild, Charlotte Grundy. She was predeceased by her granddaughter, Katherine Ann Grundy.

Joanne cared very deeply for her family. She spent a great amount of time with them and had much laughter and joy with them. They helped her immensely during times of trouble and she helped them when they needed her. As her grandson Jim said, "This is the fun family."

Joanne requested to be cremated and her ashes will be buried in 2021 in Oakwood Cemetery in Lowell. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Williamston United Methodist Church.

Memorials may be made to the Williamston United Methodist Church for their building renovation fund or Safari Club of Michigan. Gifts may be sent to WUMC, 211 S. Putnam, Williamston, MI 48895 or for the Safari Club of Michigan, c/o Joseph Pedersen, 4133 Stone Valley Lane, Twin Lake, MI 49457. Please make checks payable to "Safari Club, Michigan."

A memorial service for Joanne will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 11:00AM to 12:00PM with a memorial visitation one hour prior at Williamston United Methodist, 211 S Putnam St., Williamston, MI 48895. A graveside service will occur Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 4:00PM at Oakwood Cemetery, 325 Fremont St., Lowell, MI 49331.

Memories, condolences, and expressions to the family may be found below.

  • DONATIONS

  • Williamston United Methodist Church
  • Safari Club of Michigan

Services

  • Memorial Visitation

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

Memories

Joanne Evelyn Witte

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