Janice “Jo” J. (Mason) Freese Schroeder, 84, of Grinnell; formerly of Baxter died on Monday, April 23, 2018, at Mayflower in Grinnell. A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 26, 2018, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newton. The family will greet friends from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, at the funeral home. Memorials to the Mayflower Community may be left at the church the day of the service or at the funeral home.
Jo, the daughter of Hollis and Marcella (Jans) Mason, was born on October 5, 1933 in Conrad. She grew up in Garwin and graduated from Garwin High School in 1952. After high school, Jo was a secretary at the Marshalltown Cemetery. On November 10, 1952, Jo was united in marriage with Jerome Freese in Marshalltown. They farmed by Marshalltown for four years prior to moving to the Melbourne area. In 1965, they made their home on a farm by Baxter. Jo was a farmer’s wife and later worked as a secretary at Principal Financial for 14 years, retiring in 1996. After retirement she worked part-time at Rock Communications in Newton. Jo was a member of the Ever Ready Club, Pink Ribbon Club, Red Hat Club, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and the Moose Lodge. She was a talented seamstress and cook and enjoyed teaching her granddaughters those skills. Following Jerome’s death in 2009, Jo later met Norman Schroeder at a Sunday night dance in Malcom. They were united in marriage on October 5, 2013, in Newton. They enjoyed dancing and traveling together including a honeymoon to Hawaii. Jo lovingly opened her home and heart to Norman’s entire family and treated them like her own.
Those left to honor Jo’s memory are her husband Norman Schroeder of Grinnell; children, Jerry (Kathy) Freese of Newton, Doug (Deb) Freese of Maquoketa, and Randy (Barb) Freese of Baxter; grandchildren, Brad (Andrea) Freese, James (Holly) Freese, Mike (Amanda) Freese, Jill (Scott) Dykstra, Michael (Nicole) Freese, and Courtney Freese; great-grandchildren, Ashlee, Grant, and Natalee Freese; Ethan, Colin, and Cole Freese; Jacob, Brianna, and Katelyn Freese; Autumn, Savannah, Brooklyn, and Ember Dykstra; and Tayler Freese; her step-children, Roger (Judy) Schroeder, Rhonda (Brad) Braley, Michael (Diane) Schroeder, Marilyn (Randy) Terlouw, Max (Jerry) Schroeder, and Mary (Shawn) Sherwood; 10 step-grandchildren; 5 step-great-grandchildren; her sister, Geri Mason of Newton; sister-in-law, Priscilla Freese of Marshalltown; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Jerome Freese; and sisters, Shirley Heiple and Carol Lefevre.