Jo Helgeson, 89

Friends, bridge partners, music lovers, fans of good cooking, conversation and newsy letters, free-thinkers and lovers of beauty, and the dear friends of Cedarburg Woman’s Club all mourn the passing of Jo Helgeson (nee Puckett) on Thursday, July 11, 2013.

Jo lived to a spirited 89 years, maintaining a zest for life, meeting each day with boundless love, curiosity, enthusiasm and joy. She loved classical music and had been an accomplished singer and choir director. She never knew a stranger and was accepting and interested in people from all cultures and walks of life.

Born in 1924 in Smithville, Tenn., she enlisted in the Navy Waves in 1944. Two years later, Gunnery Sgt. Puckett left Pensacola Naval Base in Florida to marry Wisconsin boy, Howard Helgeson, whom she met while singing in the USO in Nashville.

Jo lived and worked in Thiensville, Mequon and Cedarburg for the next 65 years. She was a bookkeeper, a purchasing agent for a Grafton steel fabricator, a realtor and a reporter. Jo could knit a sweater, sew a wedding dress, prepare a smorgasbord for 40, do cost accounting, and re-wire her daughter’s bedroom.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends: her son, Andrew; and daughters, Karen and Janet; their spouses Debra Aussprung Helgeson, Dale Perman, and Fred Roecker; grandchildren, Tony and Sam Perman, Kirsten Helgeson, Erik Helgeson, Lindsey Mongoven, and Jackson Roecker; granddaughters- in-law, Fern Supawanich and Angie Pape Helgeson; grandsonin- law, Thomas Mongoven; great-grandchildren, Ruthie and Margaret Mongoven, Max and Zack Perman, and Isabella and Elijah Helgeson; sisters, Sarah Hodges and Mary Ellon Berkely; brothers, Reed and Kenneth Puckett; nieces, nephews and many lifelong friends.

A memorial service and luncheon was held on Monday, July 15. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts in Jo’s memory be sent to the Cedarburg Woman’s Club or the Milwaukee Veterans Administration.