Joan Scannell

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  • "Jo was a lovely lady, and I'm very glad I came to know her...."
    - Karen Roberts
  • "Sara (and Steve, & Lynn), I was sorry to read bout your..."
    - Stacy Rebek
  • "I was so sorry to hear about Jo. I knew her through..."
    - Cathy Ebmeier
  • "I am saddened to learn about Jo. I'm glad I was able to see..."
    - Johnny Inverarity
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Joan Patricia Swanson Scannell died peacefully in her sleep on March 13, 2017. Jo was born on December 3, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Walter C. and Susan Blake Swanson, and later moved to Akron, Ohio. Jo married Dale Scannell in February 1952. She is survived by her children: Steve (Lynn), Lawrence; Jeff (Kathy), Topeka; Susan (Teri), Lawrence; and Janet (Beth), Northfield MN, grandchildren Sara, Daniel; Travis, Jeremy, Kelly; Allison, Brian; and 2 great-grandchildren; and by her ex-husband Dale and his wife Marilyn. She was preceded in death by her parents, and by her aunts Gertrude Neudeck, Grace Trafford and Florence Swanson.

Jo attended Shimer College and graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech/Drama, with a minor in English/Education. She was a proud member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Kansas in Radio/TV/Film with a focus on education. She taught English and Latin at Lawrence-area schools, and speech and debate at Iowa City High School. She worked as Assistant to the Dean at Baker University in Baldwin City for five years. She served as Program Assistant for the KU Department of Chemistry for sixteen years.

Jo was a long-time member of Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, and served the church on many committees and as a member of the Board of Deacons. Jo was widely admired for her skills planning and hosting social events for the KU School of Education faculty and staff while Dale served as Dean of Education. She also enjoyed organizing potluck dinners and playing in bridge clubs for many years.

Jo loved the theater, and performed in several local community theater plays. Jo also loved entering contests. In 1960 she was a contestant on both Truth or Consequences and the Price is Right, winning an oven, a mink stole and a trampoline. In the mid-1960's she won the Lawrence Journal-World's weekly football contest three times in one season, for a free turkey each time and a family photo-op in the paper.

A memorial service will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church on March 22nd at 10am. Private family graveside services will be held in Strawberry Point, Iowa. The family encourages memorial donations in her name to Theatre Lawrence or Plymouth Congregational Church, in care of the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, Lawrence, KS. The full obituary can be seen at

Funeral Home
Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory
601 Indiana St
Lawrence, KS 66044
(785) 843-5111
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Published in Lawrence Journal-World from Mar. 15 to Mar. 17, 2017