Joanne Ochoa, a
lifelong Chesterton resident, passed away peacefully with her family by her
side on Thursday, April 23 following a brief illness.
Joanne was born on
September 16, 1936, to the late Frank and Katherine (nee Kory) Miller. She
earned her bachelor's degree from St. Joseph's College and her Masters in
Education from Purdue University. While at St. Joe, she met the love of her
life and best friend David Ochoa. They were married at St. Patrick’s Church
on August 15, 1963 and remained so for almost 54 years, until David's death
Joanne taught at
the elementary level for over 25 years, many of them spent as a Kindergarten
teacher at St. Bridget’s in Hobart. She loved teaching children and watching
them grow fundamentally. Joanne was a devoted Mother and grandmother to her
three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild and loved them
all fiercely. She retired early to spend more time with her grandchildren,
watching them grow and teaching them how to create art with pencil and
paper. She was an avid reader, bird watcher and loved to create art. She was
also a lifelong White Sox fan.
Joanne is survived
by her children, Marya Shoemaker, Kristin (Jeff) Whitfield, and Nathan
(Tracey) Ochoa. Her grandchildren Drew (Ariel) Shoemaker, Trevor Shoemaker,
Cathryn (Matt) Hampton, Conner Whitfield, Chad Whitfield, Haley Ochoa,
Hayden Ochoa, and great-grandchild Wesley Hampton. Her sisters Margo (Phil)
Deiotte, and Helen Pisowicz.
She was preceded in
death by her parents, her husband David, her brother Nels Miller, and her
brother-in-law John Pisowicz.
Joanne was loved by
many nieces and nephews and lifelong friends. She will be missed by all who
knew her. The family held a private service and will have a mass and
celebration of life at a later date due to the current circumstances.
A special thanks to
her Godchild Susan Kane, her sister Helen and to the VNA for their help and
The family asks
that donations be made to VNA hospice of Valparaiso in memory of Joanne