Redlin-Ertz Funeral Home

JoAnne Regina Kozel , Age 86


September 17, 1934 --June 14, 2021

JoAnne Regina Kozel, 86, of Baraboo, WI became free and was embraced by Jesus Christ on June 14, 2021, at SSM Hospice House. Friends and family are invited to celebrate JoAnne's victory over Lewy Body Dementia and her reuniting with her deceased family, friends, and dogs. Services will be on Friday, June 18th, 2021 at St Joseph's Catholic Church. Visitation & Rosary from 9:00 -11:00 a.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. Jay Poster officiating, followed by a luncheon. Mass will be livestreamed on St. Joseph Catholic Church's Facebook page.

JoAnne was born on September 17, 1934, in Baraboo to Wilfred and Alice (Brennan) Griffith. She was the youngest of her two siblings Kathleen Metz and Donald Griffith, both deceased. She went to St. Joseph's Catholic School through eighth grade then graduated at Baraboo Sr. High, the old, super cool one. She was noted as a little rebel as she chewed gum all day, going through many pieces as each teacher made her spit it out. After working for the telephone company as the original Lily Tomlin telephone operator in Baraboo, she then transferred to Madison where she met and married her love, Gary Kozel.

They were blessed with two children, a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Patrick. Over the course of Gary's career constructing medical clinics across the country, JoAnne and Gary traveled to around 20 different locations, but they always kept their home in Baraboo. While on assignment, Pat & Kelly were the new kids at many schools, but they would always eventually return home to their house on 11th Street. JoAnne was the glue that kept the family together. She cooked, baked, and ultimately made each temporary home feel like home. Once Gary retired, they moved back to Baraboo. Gary then passed in 2004. Years later, she met Jim Halbach, a wonderful, caring man. It was clear they were meant to be in each others lives. Jim gladly took her any and everywhere she pleased. They enjoyed shows, traveling, laughing, eating out, walking, and going to mass.

JoAnne jokingly called herself "The Domestic Goddess" and her family lovingly called her "Sassy" or "Queen", Regina means queen! JoAnne was an independent, outspoken, funny, and caring people-person. She rarely found a cause that wasnt worth a letter to the editor. She was always a hostess, even while in hospice, offering drinks and treats to staff, visitors, and her outdoor friends, the birds, and the squirrels.

Sadly, JoAnne was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia after years of symptoms that she ignored and refused to acknowledge. As her disease progressed, Jim became her sole caregiver. Their bond was unbreakable, and their wish to keep her at home was realized until a life altering fall in March 2021. SSM Health Hospital, The Meadows, and Hospice House took care of her until her last, peaceful, pain-free breath. Lewy Body Dementia is a cruel, tricky, and ugly disease. Early detection is vital. Her soul is finally resting in peace and for that, we are all grateful.

Her causes included St. Joe's Parrish & School, and The Salvation Army. JoAnne leaves behind her loving companion, Jim Halbach (North Freedom, WI); her family, Kelly, and Dan Goethel (Mt. Juliet, TN), Patrick and Cindy Kozel (Baraboo, WI); and her 5 grandchildren, Ben (Morgan) Goethel (Omaha, NE), Jake Goethel (Nashville, TN), Brenna (Nick Meyer) Goethel (Nashville, TN), Kate (Logan) Barfuss (Columbia, SC), and Emma Kozel (Baraboo, WI); as well as, Gert Sadoff, her best friend and rock for 72 years; and Fr. Jay who became a bright light to "Sassy" JoAnne. Not to forget her many, beloved cousins, friends, and all the wonderful staff that cared for her on her very important last days.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for JoAnne's soul and all those afflicted with Lewy Body Dementia.



Condolences

Brooke Bode June 16, 2021

Friend Baraboo

I'm so sorry Pat!! What a little spitfire!! Heaven gained a beautiful lady for sure!! Big hugs!! Xoxo