Joanna Ruth ("Jo") Corcoran
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Joanna Ruth ("Jo") Corcoran, 73, passed away peacefully at her Iowa City home on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

Joanna wished to be cremated. A graveside service was held at St. Joseph's Cemetery on August 19th. Family and friends then gathered at Hickory Hill Park to celebrate Jo's life.

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City, Iowa handled arrangements.

Joanna was born on June 24, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa, and adopted by Charles and Wilma Blanche (Olsen) Buswell. She was a 1965 graduate of Cresco High School, where she was active in vocal and instrumental music. She attended the University of Iowa, sang in the University Choir and worked at the Iowa City Telephone Company.

She married Thomas L. ("Tom") Corcoran at St. Mary's Church in Iowa City on June 30, 1973. The couple moved to the Kansas City area in 1973, where Joanna worked in sales for Coles Publications.

After returning to Iowa City, in 1980 they founded Corcoran Communications, Inc., a marketing communications company working with higher-education clients. Joanna kept the books for the company and was integral to its success.

She later enrolled in Kirkwood Community College, where she graduated first in her class and obtained an associate's degree in nursing (R.N.). That was followed by many years' work as a pediatric nurse at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. After retirement, Joanna lived in Iowa City, and maintained a home in Lawrence, Kansas, near her grandchildren.

She loved nature, the wonderment of life, and spending time with family and friends. Joanna had a wonderful sense of humor and was a wise woman who taught us all how to love each other more. She enjoyed gardening, swimming, decorating, reading, traveling and family vacations in Estes Park, Colorado.

Survivors include her husband Tom and their daughter, Megan Corcoran (Bret Schacht), and their children, Caden and Mia, all of Lawrence, Kansas; and daughter, Vicki Comnick (Dr. Mark Comnick), of Traverse City, Michigan, and their children Carissa, Iowa City, Iowa, and Benjamin, Brookings, South Dakota. Also surviving is sister-in-law Kate Corcoran (Lars Hill), Iowa City; nieces Elizabeth Hill, Iowa City; Anne Thomas, Coralville; Theresa Thomas, Lawrence, Kansas; and nephew Alexander Hill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Also mourning the loss of Joanna are her close, decades-long friends Carol VanDeWeerd, Teresa McDonald, and Gwendolyn Countryman, all of Iowa City; Lee Bruno Heikens, Burnsville, Minnesota; and Barbara Deur, Buena Vista, Colorado. The family is grateful to Joanna's physician, Dr. Rod Zeitler, for his compassionate care.

Joanna was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents and parents; her brother Jon Charles Buswell; Tom's parents, Richard T. and Margaret J. Corcoran; and sister-in-law Jayne Corcoran.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Joanna's name by mailing a check to the Iowa City Friends of Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 2001, Iowa City, IA 52244. Online condolences may be sent to

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Aug. 22, 2020.
Graveside service
11:00 AM
St. Joseph's Cemetery
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
August 15, 2020
Very sorry, Tom, to hear about your loss. Our prayers are with you and Joanna's family. May she rest in and with the peace of our Lord.
Joe and Mary (Cannon) Fackler
August 14, 2020
I cannot find the words to describe our friendhip, but it was a deep as a sister. I loved her as much as I loved any family member. We laughed andcried together for 44 years. There is an emptiness in my soul that I just cannot fill. She has always been there to support me when my children went through cancers, when I went through a divorce, and now, when I am losing the battle to cancer. I could never had made it this far without her.She was so devoted to Tom and Meggan. Those of us who were her best friends will always have a void in our hearts.
Lee Bruno
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