Jeri Jo Redman, age 64, of Hutchinson, Minnesota, passed away on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at Meeker Manor in Litchfield, Minnesota.
A memorial gathering to celebrate Jeri Jo’s life is planned for summer 2023 near her beloved Crow River.
Jeri Jo Redman, 64, of Hutchinson, Minnesota passed away on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at Meeker Manor in Litchfield, Minnesota.
Jeri Jo Alma Redman was born September 10, 1958, to Lawrence and June (Zavoral) Redman of Hutchinson. After graduating from Hutchinson High School in 1976, she worked as an administrative assistant in Hutchinson and the Twin Cities. She attended Normandale Community College and graduated in 1992.
Jeri Jo’s father died when she was just 13 years old. She and her colorful mother, June, were great friends. When her mother’s health began to fail, Jeri Jo put aside her own life to care for her until she passed in 2010.
Jeri Jo was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a young woman. Eventually, she lost the ability to walk, lost movement and strength in her arms, and her hands were increasingly crippled. Swallowing became difficult and she was always in pain. She required a power wheelchair and 24-hour care. Her health was precarious for years due to her immobility and compromised immune system, resulting in many frightening, frustrating stays in hospitals and nursing homes.
More than anything, she wanted to continue to live in her home, a tiny apartment in Park Towers. Her independence depended entirely on her personal care attendants; they were her life force. Unfortunately, the work of a PCA is hard and the pay is small, so it was a constant struggle to maintain the care she needed. Even so, several of her PCAs became dear friends.
Jeri Jo loved animals and she had tiny dogs in her life for many years. Tia, Ava, and Mikka brightened her days. She soaked up their unconditional love and spoiled them unabashedly. Jeri Jo enthusiastically supported animal rescue. Memorials in her name can be made to the Heart of Minnesota Animal Shelter in Hutchinson.
Jeri Jo loved to be outdoors, so she was a familiar sight zooming around town in her wheelchair. She so enjoyed greeting people and her zest for life was contagious. Nature was her passion, and she was proud to be a Minnesota Master Naturalist. Her favorite place was along the Crow River. She took photos that she shared in a blog about her observations: https://jjsminnesotamasternaturalistblog.blogspot.com/
When bad weather trapped her indoors, she kept busy with her many other interests. The computer was her connection to the world. She researched her ancestry and preserved her family keepsakes and stories. She was committed to studying and sharing the history of Hutchinson. She was actively involved with the Hutchinson Center for the Arts. When she could no longer do quilting, she still planned projects and friends helped her do the work.
Despite her disabilities, her pain, and her sorrows, Jeri Jo loved life and lived it to the fullest. She shared her heart in another blog that anyone who cared about her should read: http://dreamweaversheart.blogspot.com/
Jeri Jo’s final illness included pneumonia and an inability to receive nutrition even through tube feeding. She was transferred from the hospital in St. Paul to the nursing home in Litchfield to rest and gain strength for surgery, but she passed quietly. Despite her poor health, her death was unexpected for those who loved her. She never lost her positive, fighting spirit.
Jeri Jo described herself as follows: “I am passionate for anything in nature and have fallen in love with flower gardening. Give me a camera and I'll be content for hours. Give me a book and I will be filled. Find me in the presence of a dog and you will see pure love. Give me time spent in intelligent, stimulating conversation and I'll be blessed. Give me your friendship, love, time and attention and I will fully be. Most importantly, give me laughter and I am healed.”
Jeri Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Larry and June Redman. She is survived by her brothers and their families: Randy (Becky) Redman and Mark (Julie) Redman; her nieces and nephews, Misty (Bjoern) Oppenkowski, Cody Redman, Elizabeth (Brandon) Neseth, Kayleen Redman; her great-nieces and nephews, Emery Oppenkowski, Linden Oppenkowski, Reagan Neseth, Sloane Neseth, and Audric Neseth; cousins; and many friends.
Cindy Schmidt (kanga) says
My heart is just completely broken. JJ…….I will miss you terribly.
Janice Heintz says
So sorry to hear this
Oh no ! I’m sorry to hear,this.
Cassandra Hankins says
She was truly the nest women I knew. I was a PCA for her a few years ago. I truly enjoyed going to work and looked forward to my shifts with her..
Pamela Stump (Dragonfly) says
I have known Jeri Jo in an online quilter’s forum for about 25 years. I always enjoyed reading her posts, especiallythe ones about her little dog. I will miss her and her contributions to our group.
Kerry Ward says
My heart is truly saddened by losing you my friend and bright light in the world. I will miss you dearly.
Annabelle Breiwick says
An amazing neighbor and amazing woman, family will be in my thoughts and prayers!
Troy Kurth says
I want to give my deepest condolences for the passing of her. I knew her alot when I used to be residents of Park Towers years ago. She was a wonderful lady. And I loved her small dogs. May God bless you during this difficult time.
Geri Johnson says
Jeri Jo was always such a delight when you met her. We loved how she loved being out and about in her “vehicle” greeting old friends and meeting new. She was loved by many and will be missed. Our sympathies…
Ralph & Geri Johnson
Bonita Owen says
Jeri jo was like a sister to me, she could make me laugh when I couldn’t bring myself to. She went through so much in this life, yet her enthusiasm for life was evident until the moment God called her home. I love and miss her so much!
Bonita Owen says
Jeri Jo was indeed like a big sister to me, we had many conversations of life and nature.
She enjoyed life to the fullest up to the end when God called her home!
I loved her and she loved me and that brings peace to my heart, but boy do I miss her!
Julia Accola says
I grew up in Hutchinson and still have family there, but knew Jeri Jo only through an online quilting group. We will miss her posts there.
Cathie Jo Hunter says
Thank you for the memories and laughs, JJ. It was an honor to know you.
From the other “Jo girl”…
Jerry Hoikka says
So sorry to hear this. She was such a nice person.
Diane Madsen says
I was so sorry to hear about Jeri Jo’s passing. We only met a couple of years ago, after realizing that we were second cousins. Despite her difficult life, she had great spirit and a zest for adventure that I admired greatly. I regret that we didn’t get to know each other better. Rest in peace, Jeri Jo.
Marilyn Christensen Denler says
So saddened to read this. Much sympathy to her family.
Kathy Berghuis says
Jeri you were the best! I will miss seeing you running around town! Such a great inspiration to others. Until we meet again!
SAlly Rackers says
It was so nice to be able to reconnect with Jeri Jo on Facebook. She was a trooper in her obvious pain.
I didn’t have much connection with my cousins after we moved to MO. So it was nice to see Jeri Jo on Facebook.
She is out of pain and with her parents and dogs in Heaven. Rest in peace
Linda (Tiggrrr/ says
I will forever miss my Pooh Bear. I’m saddened to hear of JJ’s passing. She was a true friend and we had long talks both online and on the phone. RA is a terrible disease that we had in common and she would always talk me through the rough times with a positive attitude. I know she’s up in heaven with my Mom, discovering all three things they can do with hand that aren’t crippled any longer!