Josephine (Jo) Lohmolder
March 1, 1920 - February 3, 2022
Jo Lohmolder, age 101, formerly of Chagrin Falls, OH, passed away on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia, IL.
She was born in Warrensburg, MO, on February 29, 1920 to JWA and Annabelle (Ford) Bailey. She used March 1st as her legal birthday and attributed her longevity to only having a birthday every four years. Jo was the middle daughter of Annabelle’s three daughters and JWA’s three sons and three daughters. She wed Elmer E. Lohmolder on July 19, 1937 in Salt Lake City, UT. Elmer proceeded her in death on November 18, 2006. Elmer and Jo had two sons, Roger Lee Lohmolder and Darrell Gene Lohmolder.
Jo and Elmer raised their boys in Independence, MO, and Jo was supportive and proud of their Boy Scout activities that earned Roger and Darrell their Eagle Scout and Order of Arrow distinctions. She later worked at Daily Brothers Furniture in Dearborn, MI, before delving into her passion for herbs that began as a child with her beloved father and grandmother. She was a member of The Herb Society of America for over 50 years, serving as the National Chairman of Members-at-Large and on its Board of Directors. She was also on the committee that secured the Vineyard House in Kirtland, OH, that still stands as the society’s headquarters today.
Conducting workshops, demonstrations and lectures to market her own culinary, scented, dyed and decorative herb products were some of the ways she shared her wealth of knowledge of plants, which were also her favorite subject for oil painting, printed note cards and clothing. Elmer often traveled with her and made many of the items used in her displays. She was a perfectionist with her projects and this could be seen in her detailed artwork that included tole painting and rosemaling.
She planned many private herb gardens, including six of her own, and public gardens at the Dearborn Historical Society and the Henry Ford Museum–Greenfield Villages. She also researched the original Shaker herb gardens for the gardens at Shakertown in Pleasant Hill, KY. Her expertise in the field of natural dyeing is nationally known, and her work in this medium and rug hooking was featured in the October 1979 issue of Better Homes and Gardens that was written with her dear friend Mary Spencer. She remained close to Mary, Marion Bates and Lois Young—her “herb friends” to the end.
Family and friends could tell you that moss green was her signature color, the hardest color to produce in natural dyeing and her meticulous artwork included her signature “Jo” with a dragonfly emblem signifying grace and elegance along with change, transformation and adaptability. Qualities that Jo possessed throughout her almost 102 years of living.
Jo is survived by her daughter-in-law, Marjorie (Herrick) Lohmolder of West Chicago, IL; five grandchildren—Mark (Elizabeth) Lohmolder of Sturtevant, WI, Amy (Neal Davies) Lohmolder of Highland Park, IL, Kim Lohmolder Brown of Geneva, IL, Janna Klein of Seattle, WA, and Kirk (Heather) Lohmolder of Happy Valley, OR; ten great-grandchildren—Caleb (Amy), Anthony and Luke Lohmolder; Henry Davies; Kyle and Madeline Brown; Stella Klein; and Joshua, MacKenzie (Cameron), and Joseph Lohmolder: and two great-great-grandchildren, Theodore and Noelle.
In addition to her parents, Jo is proceeded in death by her husband, Elmer; sons, Roger and Darrell, and siblings John, Pauline “Polly,” Daniel, Fredrick, Evelyn, Virginia “Dee Dee,” and several schnauzers that were faithful companions.
Jo will be buried at Floral Hills Cemetery in Kansas City, MO, in a private ceremony. Memorials can be directed to St. Labre Indian School (Ashland, MT), St Joseph’s Indian School (Chamberlain, SD), Wounded Warrior Project or Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia, IL.
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