Our loving mother and grandmother, Josephine R. Bartels, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
“Gramma Jo,” or “Little Jo,” as others knew her, was born on Nov. 1, 1924, to Bert and Myra Reese of Akron, Colorado. She had one older brother, Jimmy. Jo was married to Charles Kenneth “Ken” McShane in 1954 and had one son, Douglas Reese McShane, in 1955. Ken passed away in 1979, and Jo remarried her childhood sweetheart, Gordon Bartels, in 1980. Gordon passed away 14 years ago.
Jo is survived by her son, Douglas McShane (married to Catherine); her stepson, Darren Bartels (married to Mary); and numerous grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Dylan McShane (married to Chelsea), Loreena McShane, Kelsey Harris (married to Mike Harris), Rhianna Bittner, Christopher Bittner and Sean Hogan. Her large extended family includes 22 great-grandchildren!
Jo opened her home to all of us and never failed to welcome with open arms any new member of this large extended family with grace and generosity. Every year at Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, Birthdays — whenever possible! — she joyfully opened her home to hosting huge family parties to include each and every one of the family … and their friends!
Jo was a polio survivor, contracting the disease at 5 years of age and rehabilitating throughout her upbringing during the 1930s Depression Era. In 1944, she attended Colorado Women’s College to become a nurse and join the WWII effort. Following graduation, she maintained a 35+-year career as a nurse anesthetist until her retirement.
Jo loved music, especially Swing and musicals, and in her youth was a percussionist. Until a couple of years ago, she continued to play her marimba at home for the joy of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jo’s favorite sports teams were the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco 49ers.
Jo was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and attended throughout her life until her health would no longer allow it. Any memorials should be forwarded to the First Presbyterian Church, 13th and Poly, in Billings.
“Gramma Jo.” “Little Jo.” All who knew her will surely remember her as one of the kindest, most generous and least-complaining people they ever met! We will all miss her dearly, but know she has been received into Heaven.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, May 15, at First Presbyterian Church, 2420 13th St. West. A reception/potluck will follow the service at 2919 Montys Circle.