Jo Ann O'Connor


Posted: Friday, July 06, 2007

Juneau resident Jo Ann O'Connor died June 13, 2007, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She was 70.

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Born on Jan. 11, 1937, she was the second child of John and Alaska (Jorgenson) Varnes.

She grew up in Petersburg, where she was known to all her friends and family as "Sister Varnes." She attended Petersburg grade school and graduated from Petersburg High School. The family lived in the house of her grandfather, Pete Jorgenson. It was a large three-story home on the corner that had the phone company. Her grandfather was the mayor of Petersburg for many years.

Growing up, she was an active 4-H Club member, Brownie and Girl Scout. Her family said she adored children and baby-sat many young Petersburg children. After high school, she moved to Juneau, where she met and married James "Jim" O'Connor on Sept. 1, 1961.

She had a passion for sewing and knitting. She created many lovely items for her friends and family, family said. She also enjoyed painting and playing card games. Her favorite game was "Pitch." She also boated with her husband for many years and worked for the state as the payroll supervisor for the Department of Transportation until her retirement.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Perla Eggers; and brother, Peter Varnes.

She is survived by her husband of 47 years, of Juneau; sister, Ellie Schroeder, of Juneau; nieces, Lori Easter, Kimberely Carter, Kelly Flynn; nephews, Kenneth Eggers, David Scott Eggers, Mark Cardwell and Stacie Cardwell.

A memorial service will be at 4 p.m. July 15 at the Moose Family Lodge. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gastineau Humane Society.

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