Passed away on Aug 07, 2023
Mary Jo Koehler
The story of Mary

On the night of Monday August 7, shortly after kissing her sweetie goodnight and laying her head on the pillow one final time, the world lost an amazing wife, mom, grandma, sister, friend, coupon clipper, storyteller, bargain hunter, planner, and problem solver. Mary Jo was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, to John and Mary McKearn on September 9, 1940. Shortly thereafter the family moved down the road to Beloit where she spent her childhood and young adult life. At Beloit Catholic High School, she met (and tutored) the love of her life, Ed Koehler, in Spanish class. After graduating from x-ray school in Madison, Mary Jo and Ed sealed the deal in marriage on April 23,1960. Beloit is where they started their family of girls and stayed there until 1970, when they packed up and headed west. They landed in Lakewood, Colorado, where they built a home and gathering place, and remain to this day. Once all the kids, including a surprise addition in 1972, had finished or were in school, Mary Jo went back to work as an x-ray tech at Kaiser Permanente for 15 years until retiring in 2002. The consummate caretakers, she and Ed shared babysitting duties with other family members for Delaney and Hayden, their beloved grandchildren. She also volunteered at numerous local organizations over the years. Her last stint being the birthing center at Lutheran Hospital. Mary Jo adored entertaining, crafting and spending time with family and friends. Weekend trips to the cabin they built in South Park were the weekend highlight. She was ALWAYS planning the next vacation. For nearly 40 years, she ardently clipped coupons so she and Ed could spend upwards of a month at the Mahina Surf on Maui’s westside, meeting lifetime friends, watching the whales jump, and sharing family celebrations with all. An extrovert who firmly believed in bringing people together and not letting grass grow under her quick-stepping feet, Mary Jo also had a passion for fitness, photography, knitting and shopping, especially when it came to finding bargains/scouring the clearance racks. Some of the last communications with her sister and daughters detailed the deal on peppers she grabbed, and the favorite dish she was preparing and sharing. Of course, there are not one, but two unfinished afghans next to her chairs at both their home and cabin. Mary Jo leaves behind her husband of 63 years, Ed, daughters Michele Heye (Otto), Beth (Rick, d.), Theresa and Heidi. Grandkids Delaney and Hayden Koontz. Sister Pat, and brothers John, Dennis and stepbrother Jerry Turner. Former son-in-law Devin Koontz, sister-in-law Cindy Rich, and countless nieces, nephews, godchildren and friends of all stripes. She is preceded in death by her parents John and Mary McKearn, stepfather Bob Turner, brothers-in-law Dick and Chuck Koehler, Tom Hunt, Pat Rich and sister-in-law Karen Hunt. A memorial service and reception will be held Wednesday, August 23, 11 a.m. St. Jude Catholic Church 9405 W Florida AveLakewood CO 80232 Another celebration of her beautiful life will be held on September 11, 1 p.m.Shopiere Tap 5227 E County Road JShopiere, WI 53525 While she adored flowers and created a beautiful backyard garden with Ed, the family asks that if you choose, instead please make a donation in Mary Jo’s name to Maui recovery, a bench at her favorite place to walk, Addenbrooke Park, or the Children’s Diabetes Foundation in an area of your choice.