Obituary: JoAnne (Jenson) Coulthart, 81

JoAnne (Jenson) Coulthart passed away on May 7, 2022.  Jo was born in Janesville, August 31, 1940 to Mary (Young) Jenson.  Her early years were spent in Brodhead with her mother, grandfather Arthur Young and great-grandmother Emily (Bridle) Burns.  The family moved to Edgerton, Wisconsin where Jo graduated from the Edgerton High School in 1958.  Jo later attended UW-Whitewater where she met her future husband, Charles Coulthart, playing bridge at the Huddle – a popular hang out with the college kids.

They married on August 26, 1961 in Edgerton and began their married life in Whitewater, Wisconsin.  Jo continued her education and received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education and she taught many years in the Fort Atkinson School District.  Upon her retirement, Jo received many letters from former students and we have enjoyed reading these letters.  She also took great pride in mentoring college students as they completed their student teaching assignments under her supervision.

Community was extremely important to Jo and she gave many hours of service to the community throughout her time in Whitewater.  She was very active in the Whitewater Jaycettes, she earned the statewide C.A.R.O.L (Outstanding Young Woman) award in 1971, an election poll worker, Meals on Wheels, the Breakfast Kiwanis Club (including the yearly bridge marathon, high school scholarship, poinsettia sales, Easter lily sales, pancake breakfast and much more), the Whitewater Federation of Women’s Clubs (Alpha Club and Minnieska), PEO, and numerous church activities.

Through their 45 years of marriage, Jo and Chuck enjoyed entertaining, playing cards, golfing and traveling.  Together they attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, visited the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, visited the Salzburg, Austria setting for Jo’s favorite movie ‘The Sound of Music’ and saw the Badgers play football in Hawaii.  After Chuck’s passing in 2006 Jo continued to travel the world with a fellow widower, Alice Scherer; they saw the Great Wall in China, the Red Square in Moscow, Machu Picchu in Peru, took a safari through South Africa and traveled through the Panama Canal.

Jo is survived by her two sons, Tim (Madonna), and Craig (Lori) and four granddaughters; Chelsea (Alex) Sturtevant, Haley (fiancé Vaughn Brockel), Jessica (fiancé Chris Miller) and Carly Coulthart.  She is also survived by her brother Bob Jenson.  She was preceded in death by her husband and parents Mary and Ralph Jenson.

A celebration of Jo’s life will be at Messiah Lutheran Church, 5202 Cottage Grove Road, Madison, with Pastor Jeff Vanden Heuvel presiding. Visitation will be from 9:30-11 on May 20, followed by a Memorial service at 11.  In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate honoring Jo through a donation to Oakwood Foundation, Agrace Hospice or your favorite cause.


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