Chesterton Tribune



Joanne Ochoa passes away

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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 in 2017.

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 guidance.

The family asks that donations be made to VNA hospice of Valparaiso in memory of Joanne Ochoa.


Posted 4/28/2020




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