Obituary JoAnn Wesnitzer

Obituary

JoAnn “Jody” Morrison Wesnitzer

November 26, 2016

 

JoAnn “Jody” Morrison Wesnitzer, 85, passed away November 26, 2016 at the Washakie Medical Center in Worland, WY.

Jody was born on October 25, 1931 in Shawnee, Oklahoma to Walter Huston and Florence (Earnest) Morrison. She was the oldest of three children. Shortly after her birth, her father was asked to go to The Hague, Holland with the Shell Oil Company. Because of the unrest in Europe with Hitler coming to power, he could take his wife with him, but no children. Jody stayed with her maternal grandmother, Mabel Earnest and her Aunt, Edna Earnest in Santé Fe, New Mexico for 6 -9 months. At age 5 she begged her father for a bicycle. She was firmly told “NO!” While in Holland, her father had tried riding a bike and promptly wrecked it into a canal, so he considered them dangerous. Instead he gave her riding lessons, which resulted in a broken arm during her high school years. However, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, her dad bought Jody and her sister, Kay each a bicycle. He knew that with the war there would be gasoline rationing and the girls would need a way to get to school. At age 7, Jody became a member of the Girl Scouts. Little did she know that her early start would lead to a love and later a life-long career with helping girls in scouting and camping. Camping is truly what drew and kept Jody and Kay involved for so many years.

She graduated from Tulsa Central High School in Oklahoma in 1949. Following graduation, she attended Oklahoma A & M graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. She continued gaining credits at the New Mexico Western University, University of Eastern New Mexico, Odessa College, and the University of Texas at Permian Basin.

She taught in Dallas for one year in 1953 and in Roswell, New Mexico from 1954 – 1960. In 1960 she returned to her childhood love of Girl Scouts. She became the Field Director/Camp Director for the Zia Girl Scout Council both in Artesia and Roswell. In 1966 she became the Executive Director for the Permian Basin Girl Scout Council in Odessa, Texas. 1977 brought her to Wyoming to be the Director of the Girl Scouts of the USA – Girl Scout National Center West in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. During her scouting career, she directed Camp Mary White for 9 years. Some of her junior scouts went through seniors with her and then became part of her camp staff. Those girls were like her own daughters. She continued to be a part of the Camp Staff reunions, attending the last one here in October.

She met her future husband while requesting a cattle guard on a road to the Girl Scout Camp in Ten Sleep. John B. “Bing” Wesnitzer was employed by WYDOT and helped that cattle guard get placed. They had their first date in October and on March 3, 1979 she and Bing were married in Worland. She loved him and his children and grandchildren as her own. They bought an unfinished home and worked together to fix it up. They then built two more homes in Worland, the final one, Bing only got to stay in one month before he passed on March 10, 2008 after nearly 30 years of marriage. The couple loved to go golfing and travel together when they weren’t building or remodeling homes.

Jody also enjoyed reading, stamp collecting, sewing, computer work and is listed in the Who’s Who of American Women – 13th edition.

Jody was always involved, trying to make a difference in people’s lives. She was a member of the American Association of the University Women, Association of Girl Scout Executive Staff (1960-1989) where she served as a National Board Member and National Treasurer. She held various offices in the Business and Professional Women’s Association (1977 – 1986) and Soroptimist International (1978-2004). She was a member of the Association of Experiential Education, Camp Horseman Association (1977-1989) as a National Board Member and the Worland Country Club. She was also on the following Boards: Ten Sleep Schools Transition Advisory Board as Chairman (1989-1991) Big Horn Enterprises Board of Directors (1982-1988) as Secretary and President, Chapter AH PEO (1990 – present) and Worland Senior Citizens Board of Trustees (1988-2004) as Vice President and President. She was active in St. Alban’s Episcopal Church where she helped with the vestry and Member Endowment Committee.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Bing.

Survivors include her sister Kay Morrison of Worland, brother, Richard Morrison of Oklahoma City; step children: John (Nancy) Wesnitzer of Sedona Arizona, Robert (Marilyn) Wesnitzer of Greeley, Colorado, Joe Wesnitzer of Sheridan, WY and Susan (Ed) Thomas of Kinnear, Wyoming, 9 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 16 at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church with Rev. Edward Farmer officiating. Inurnment will take place in St. Alban’s Columbarium. Memorial donations may be made to St. Alban’s member Endowment Fund, St. Jude’s Hospital or Shriner’s Hospital in care of Bryant Funeral Home, PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at www.byrantfuneralhomeonline.com.