JoAnn Alice (Fauser) Cline departed this world, as we know it, on the sunny morning of August 14, 2020. She blessed our world with her presence beginning April 2, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. A cheery and optimistic friend to all, her life was happily lived in service to others.
She was the second of two children (brother, Richard Fauser preceded her) of Herbert and Mildred (Bihlmire) Fauser. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her father was a traveling salesman, and she was primarily raised by her single working mother. By the age of 10, JoAnn was cooking dinner for her mother and brother and cleaning the apartment where they lived on the south side of Chicago. JoAnn's fondest childhood memories were the summers that she spent with her maternal grandparents and many cousins in Baroda, Michigan. Without adult supervision, she and her brother would take the train from Chicago to Benton Harbor where her grandparents would observe, upon JoAnn's disembarking the train, that she had befriended all of the passengers.
At the age of 17, JoAnn graduated from South Shore High School in 1944, having skipped a grade. During the height of World War II, thanks to the hard work and love of her parents, JoAnn started college at Indiana University. With the end of World War II, the Bloomington campus became flooded with war veterans in September of her second year at IU. According to JoAnn, she dated 6 nights a week, staying in on the 7th day to wash and style her hair. A campus jitterbug champion, JoAnn pledged Alpha Omicron Pi and was on the cover of Life Magazine in 1945 with several of her sorority sisters. Near the end of the first semester of her second year in college, she accepted a blind date with a Theta Chi pledge but cancelled when she was asked out by another boy she had wanted to date. The Theta Chi pledge swore to never ask her out again, but his hand was forced by an upcoming winter formal that was timed so that many students were gone from campus for the Holidays. He asked JoAnn out again, she accepted, and JoAnn met the love of her life, Leon Cline, from New Castle, Indiana, a B-17 pilot who flew 35 bombing missions over Germany in 1944 and 1945. JoAnn insisted on keeping the other dates she had already accepted, and Leon responded by taking a date to every dance she attended and steering his own dates close to her on the dance floor. Eventually, he won her heart, and they married in Bloomington on June 22, 1946, a few months after meeting.
As JoAnn and Leon continued school in Bloomington in the late 1940s, JoAnn gave birth to their first of four sons, Stephen, in 1948. Leon completed his law school education, and with no ties to the town of Columbus, Indiana, the couple chose to live their lives there. JoAnn gave birth to three more sons, Lance in 1951, Thomas in 1953, and Gary in 1955. She selflessly remained at home refereeing the lives of her four boys until her youngest started school. While Leon practiced law and served as the Columbus City Attorney, JoAnn obtained her Master's Degree in Education from IU and spent 24 years teaching second graders at Lincoln and Parkside Schools in Columbus while also being a super mom to her four sons and a devoted wife and community member. When asked by her four granddaughters what her secret was for getting it all done, the always practical and funny JoAnn responded that "I showered at night."
JoAnn's life of service to others was always evident in the 63 years of her life in Columbus. She served as President of the McKinley School PTO, President of the Columbus Jayshees, a member of the Board of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Foundation, a member and Treasurer of the Board of the Friends of the Commons, a member of the Columbus Economic Development Commission, a member of the state and local Teachers' Retirement Commission, an active fundraiser for the Mill Race Center Fund, a volunteer for the local library association, the Bartholomew County Historical Society, and the Love Chapel, a member of the Tipton Lake Community Association, and a member and Treasurer of the Tipton Lake Garden Club.
JoAnn was active in the Democrat Party. She was Vice President of the Democrat Ladies League, a Democrat Precinct Committeeperson for 28 years and Co-Chair of the Bartholomew County Democrat Party for 8 years.
After 38 years of marriage, JoAnn lost Leon to kidney cancer in 1984. She continued forward in life for another 36 years surrounded by loving family and friends. Her family was especially grateful for the devoted companionship of family friend, Richard Thayer. Always independent and never a burden to her family, JoAnn chose when to move to a retirement center and when to quit driving her car. She lived at Four Seasons Retirement Center in Columbus, Indiana from 2001 to 2013 where she knew everyone, served on multiple committees, and played bridge most days. In 2013, after 63 years in Columbus, she chose to move to Hoosier Village Retirement Center in Zionsville, Indiana to live closer to many family members. The move was a blessing to her family and gave them much quality time with their beloved JoAnn.
In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, JoAnn moved into the home of her son, Lance, as a safety precaution. She lived the last 5 months of her life there, in comfort, with her every need lovingly and devotedly taken care of by her daughters-in-law Sue Nonweiler and Jin Cline.
JoAnn is survived by sons, Lance Cline (Sue Nonweiler), Thomas Cline, and Gary Cline (Jin); granddaughters, Kara Cline Sims (John), Rachel Cline Eble (Nicholas), Natalie Cline (Philip Schlanger), and Kathleen Cline; great granddaughter, Sophie Sims; great grandsons, Jack Sims, Lance Eble, Otto Eble, and Jakob Schlanger; one niece; and two nephews. They will carry forward her zest for life, her great sense of humor, and her spirit of service to others.
Services will be private.
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