JoAnn E Ecker
June 29, 1959 - June 9, 2018
JoAnn E Ecker
JoAnn Evangeline (Bowe) Ecker, 58, of Stockbridge, died June 9, 2018, at Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN. She was born June 29, 1959, in Chilton, WI, daughter of Thomas and Lorraine (Heimermann) Bowe. On September 9, 1978, she married Donald Ecker at St. Augustine church in Chilton.
JoAnn fought bravely against Scleroderma for the past 23 years. She was given one year to live by local doctors and she looked for a second opinion. She met with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and was given many options that renewed her hope. She survived breast cancer twice and fought pulmonary hypertension for the past eighteen years. Eighteen years ago, doctors started her on the experimental Flolan pump that kept her alive for nearly two decades. There is a point in the road near Rochester on a hill that overlooks the city’s skyline and the Mayo Clinic stands above the other buildings. On every trip at that spot JoAnn always said, “ It feels like I’m coming home.” Her inner-glow never faded during her illness; she always perked up for her great-niece, Leslie, and could manage a snicker whenever she heard her kids pick on Don. Whenever she went back for treatment she always said, “ As bad as I feel, so many people here have it 100 times worse than I do.”
Her good spirits were always with her and became very apparent when she was with her family taking trips to Holy Hill or visiting the Our Lady of Good Hope shrine in Champion, or just sharing special alone time with her daughter, Amanda. She cared for others deeply and had a hand in raising dozens of children in the Stockbridge area. She always supported the Stockbridge Schools, becoming a member of the PTO and being a Charter member of “Save Our Schools” when the Stockbridge district was under threat of being shut down. She even helped the district as a teacher’s aide for many years. Caring for others drove her to work as a CNA and pushed her to become a part of the Christian Mothers at St. Mary’s in Stockbridge. She enjoyed reading, taking care of her flower beds, couponing, and finding creative ways to save money, but even with free-time she preferred the company of others; she liked going up north and fishing with Ray and Joanne, or going to church with Jim and Eunice, Gail and Gary, or Ruth Gerhartz.
JoAnn is survived by her husband, Don; her parents: Thomas and Lorraine; her children: Don Ecker, Jr., Doug Ecker, and Amanda Ecker; her brothers: Allen (Yvonne) Bowe, Andrew Bowe, Thomas (Jodi) Bowe, Jr.; brothers-in-law: Robert (Sandie) Ecker, Richard Ecker, and David (Wendy) Ecker; a sister-in-law: Margie (Dean) Woelfel; and friends: Ray Heimermann, Gail and Gary Ricker, and Rich and Gail Thiel.
JoAnn was preceded in death by her mother- and father-in-law: James and Eunice Ecker; her infant brothers: James Bowe and John Bowe; a sister-in-law: Mary Zitzelsberger. Aunt and friend: Joanne Heimermann.
Funeral services are set for 4:30pm on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the St. Mary's Catholic Church (Military Rd.) in Stockbridge. Friends may call from 2:00pm until 4:30pm at the church on the day of the service.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the Mayo Clinic doctors, Dr. Duffy, Dr. McGoon, Dr. McCully, Dr. Kushwaha, the Mayo Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, her two nurses, Diane Bray and Susan Tointon, Dr. Noble of Appleton, the crew of the Mayo One Med Plane, all of the doctors and nurses at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester ICU unit, and all of the family that visited her in her final days and hours.
In lieu of flowers the Ecker family asks donations be made to the Mayo Clinic designated to Cardiovascular Research. https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/