JoAnn Chatman Johnson was born to the proud parents of Helen Nunn and Colombus Bowen on September 19, 1942. On May 14, 2021, she gained her wings. She slipped away in her sleep. She was preceded in death by both parents; her brothers, Gilbert, Reginald, Melvin, and Nolan Chatman; and her sisters, Carolyn and Reva Chatman, Bonita Faniel, Deborah Bilbro, Audrey Akins, and Octavia Hawkins.
JoAnn received Christ at an early age and was faithful to the end. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, IL where she would have and raise her three boys. In 1979, she married Thomas Johnson. She and Tom’s home was where family could turn to no matter what was happening. She and Tom split in the late 80s, but that did not stop JoAnn from tending to her family. In 1994, she relocated to Des Moines, IA. Just about anybody who knew her has had to go to ‘Momma Jo’ for help at one time or another.
JoAnn was a 300-pound, six-foot-tall giant in a 78 pound, five-foot-tall body, she made sure to let us know any chance she could. In her life, she was the epitome of that persona, and her smile would light up the room. She was grand in everything she did, mother, surrogate mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, auntie, sister, job supervisor, and friend; you name it, she was the best at it. When she put her mind to it, nothing and no one could stop her one; of her favorite sayings was, Just because you won’t take, don’t mean I won’t get there.”
During her short time on this earth, she would always find herself hosting family and friends at her house. She was truly the glue that held everything together. She would welcome anybody into her home, and she would feed you like you were her own. She was sassy, bossy, and stubborn to the core. Her wisdom was immeasurable, and she loved from the soul. She had a way of finding you in pieces and making you whole.
Her departure has left a hole. She leaves to mourn; her sons, William Chatman, Sr. (Paula), Carl Chatman, Dwayne Chatman of Des Moines, IA; and William Chatman, Jr. (LaDonna) of Camp Lejeune, NC; her surrogate daughter, Jo Ann Moore (Greg) of Gary, IN; her sisters Gwendolyn Chatman of Chicago, IL; and Cleolia Bowen-Riley (Jerry) of Fayetteville, GA; her brothers, Ronald Rimmer (Debra), and Donald Rimmer (Lorna) of Des Moines, IA; her grandchildren, Monica Williams (Quincy), of Mississippi; Dwayne Chatman, Jr. and Sharika Chatman of Wisconsin; and Dwayshahnae Harris and Anttwon Chatman of Indiana; Hezekiah Chatman and Ekko Chatman of North Carolina; one great-grandson, Andre Jedkins of Wisconsin; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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