Joan C. “Jody.” Moates age 92, of Tucson, Arizona, died peacefully on February 23, 2023, with her daughter Molly by her side. Joan was born on Christmas day, 1930 near the Portage County Hamlet of Keene, to Edward and Frances Patrykus. She attended the Two Mile School and graduated from Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids with the class of 1948. Joan then enrolled in the Wood County Normal School, graduating with a teacher’s certificate in 1950. Her first teaching experience was as “Miss” Patrykus with all eight grades in a one room red brick schoolhouse near Auburndale, WI for a year or two. After that she taught primary grades at the Grove School in Wisconsin Rapids in the 1950’s and later at the Annie Jackson School in Green Bay through the early 1960’s.
It was there that Joan became a Packer fan of sorts, having season tickets which she generously shared with her brothers, and occasionally enjoyed a drink with friends at “Speeds”, a favorite watering hole of many of the Packers in their glory years. Joan later left Green Bay to earn her bachelor’s degree at Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas, where Texas friends gave her the sobriquet “Jody”. Still “Miss” Patrykus, she next taught in El Paso, Texas and it was there that she met her husband to be, Wayland Max Moates. They were married on July 17, 1965, and would later be blessed with the daughter, Molly.
They later moved to Tucson, where they bought a home in the Catalina foothills. Noticing a reflection of the moon in her mirror one evening, Jody was inspired to name their place on Stardust Circle “Mirror Moon House”. Joan Loved Tucson, its culture and climate, the desert flora, the Bougainvillea on their patio and the wildlife, including Javelias, Coyotes, Bobcats, Roadrunners, Rabbits, and Gambel quail which inhabit their neighborhood. Her parent Ed and Fran Patrykus, having retired in Tucson, enjoyed Joan’s generous and loving help through their later years. An avid reader and letter writer, Joan’s missives were always “newsy”, invariably including a clipping or article of special interest. Some of us called them little pillows, a term of endearment we’d use for those of our mother Frances.
Joan is survived by her husband Max, her daughter Molly Moates; sisters, Ruth Frohmader and Kate (Jamshid) Javanbahkt; brothers, David (Marlis) Patrykus, Fred (Mary Sherwin) Patrykus, James (Dinah) Patrykus. She is further survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins along with some great and great-great nieces and nephews, one of the great nieces now also teaching in Green Bay.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Mary Lou (Norman) Niemuth; brother Edward (Amelia) Patrykus, earlier sister-in-law Carmen (Edward) Patrykus, brothers-in-law Norman Niemuth and George Frohmader; nieces, Gail (Tom) Darinski and Paula Scouton.
The family is most grateful for the comforting care Joan received from Betty at the Torres Care Home in Tucson during her final weeks and for the gentle care from the hospice volunteers in her last days. Your kindness is truly appreciated.
All of us who mourn her passing will remember Joan, “Jody”, as a warm, loving, and gentle soul who having lived a long and honest life, leaves behind so many beautiful memoirs. May she rest in peace.
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