A Family Funeral Home
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JoAnn J. Cormack

November 24, 1929 - November 22, 2023
Racine, WI

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Visitation

Friday, January 12, 2024
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CST
Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home
Racine Location
803 Main St.
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 634-7888
Driving Directions

Service

Friday, January 12, 2024
11:00 AM CST
Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home
Racine Location
803 Main St.
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 634-7888
Driving Directions

Life Story / Obituary


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Nov. 24, 1929 - Nov. 22, 2023.

JoAnn passed away peacefully on November 22, 2023 at Ridgewood Care Center, two days shy of her 94th birthday.

Born in 1929 to the late Joseph and Anna Peterka, JoAnn grew up on the family farm in Caledonia where she lived for the majority of her life. She attended a 2 room school house named Burbank through 8th grade and went on to graduate from Horlick High School. While on the farm she baled hay and helped with the cows, chickens, horses, cats, dogs, and puppies. She also planted many vegetable gardens and took loving care of her mother’s beautiful flower garden, which was always filled with butterflies and hummingbirds.

Growing up she was active in 4H and a member of Sokol Tabor. She learned to play Cribbage and Sheepshead early on and enjoyed playing them with family and friends. JoAnn met Don Rumage at her first job working for Hamilton Beach. The two married and raised their four children on the family farm, but later divorced. She continued to work as a secretary at Western Publishing for 31 years.

JoAnn met John (Jack) Cormack on a blind date. They eventually eloped in Las Vegas. Together they remodeled the old farmhouse, and hosted countless cookouts, volleyball games, hayrides, and celebrations including an outdoor wedding. Their home was always fun-filled, especially during the holidays - the adults played cards while the children got caught sneaking candy from her favorite candy dish which clanked every time the cover was removed. Oh, how she cherished that dish!

JoAnn enjoyed staying at her lifelong friend’s cottage on Silver Lake in Wautoma, where she liked to swim, fish, and even tried her hand at water skiing. Once was enough for her! She also liked to go snowmobiling and travel with Jack. Together they traveled. across the U.S. in their RV and flew to Hawaii. She also took many mystery trips with her sister Arlyn.

JoAnn had an amazing memory and captured everyone’s attention with her ability to recite limericks, short stories, quotes, movies, and movie characters - you name it, and she would remember it. She was musically gifted, played the piano and accordion, and loved to sing. She was a strong, independent woman and remained that way until her passing. She will be dearly missed.

In addition to her parents, JoAnn was preceded in death by her husband John Cormack, siblings Arlyn Mitchell (Hugh), Jean Gorman (Elmer), Jerome Peterka and two children, Julie J. Goldys and Donald J. Rumage, and her favorite cat Harley.

She is survived by daughters Frances Hahn, Susan Rumage, stepdaughters Peggy Pallesen (Charlie), Pamela Hawkins, son-in-law Mike Goldys, grandchildren Mary Jo Nelson, Christopher Thillemann, Alex Guralski, Kelsey Guralski, five great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren, along with many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

A special thank you to Betsy Mitchell for her kind support to JoAnn during her stay at the Addison of Pleasant Prairie. And thank you to the staff at the Addison and at Ridgewood Care Center for the special friendships she made and for taking care of JoAnn over the past several years.

A Memorial Service celebrating JoAnn’s life will be held at the funeral home, 11:00 am, Friday, January 12, 2024. Relatives and friends are welcome to meet with the family for Visitation at the funeral home on Friday, from 10:00 until time of service at 11:00 am.

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