Josephine Ann Faith Hagele Hobbs was received into God’s care on Saturday, September 30. She was loved by many and will be greatly missed. She was born on June 27, 1937 in Philadelphia, PA and was the daughter of Josephine Swank Hagele and Ferdinand John Hagele, Jr. She graduated from Springfield, PA high school in 1955. She studied piano and harp at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance, with harp as a secondary instrument. Those years included one year of study abroad at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. She completed her formal education with graduate studies at Wichita State University, from which she graduated in 1961 with a Master of Music degree in piano. She was then appointed to the music faculty at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA, where she taught until she married her high school sweetheart, Lewis Hobbs, on June 16, 1962. They lived in Madison, WI for three years and on Mount Hamilton, CA, for one year before moving to Williams Bay, WI in 1966, where they then lived for 57 years. Jo Ann was the mother of three children: John David Hobbs, Michael Samuel Hobbs, and Dara Kristin Hobbs, born respectively in 1963, 1967, and 1971.
Jo Ann taught piano and piano pedagogy for 28 years at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and performed regularly as a pianist and harpist. She received an excellence in teaching award at UW Whitewater. Before and during those years, she also taught piano and harp privately in her home. For that work, she received an excellence in teaching award from the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association and was named a fellow of the Music Teachers National Association. After retiring from UW Whitewater, she continued to teach piano and harp privately in her home until 2017.
Jo Ann was active in the Williams Bay Lutheran church as a teacher and musician and served on the boards of a number of community organizations. Her interests and hobbies included family events and vacations, especially a 50th-wedding-anniversary cruise to Alaska with her whole family and many trips to Cape May, NJ; Long Island, NY; and Germany, where she and Lewis frequently visited their daughter Dara. She rejoiced at becoming a grandmother and a great grandmother. She enjoyed attending concerts and plays, gardening, travel, walking, reading, and needlework.
Jo Ann died peacefully at home on September 30, 2023, surrounded by family members. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Lewis; sons John (Ann) and Michael (Laura), and daughter Dara (Henning); grandchildren Lauren (Paul), Rebecca, Penelope (Jaska) and Thomas; great grandchildren Louis and Eliza; her brother Jack Hagele, nephew Matthew Hagele (Catherine) and niece Meg Hagele (Curtis), great nephew William Hagele, sister-in-law Sandi Van Etten, and several cousins. If desired, memorial gifts may be directed to Doctors without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, or the JoAnn Hobbs endowed piano scholarship at UW Whitewater.
On October 17 a visitation will be held at Toyntons’ funeral home in Walworth, WI from 4:00 to 8:00 PM.
On October 18 there will be a one hour visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at the Williams Bay Lutheran Church followed by a Celebration of Life service at 11:00 AM.
For more information call the funeral home at 262-275-2171.