June 20, 1937 - November 26, 2020
JOHNA JEAN SCHAUER HASTINGS 6-20-1937 to 11-26-2020 On Thursday, November 26, 2020, Johna Jean Hastings, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 83. Johna was born in Parma, Ohio, on Father’s Day, June 20, 1937, and was named after her father John. She grew up in Parma, a suburb of Cleveland, where her father was a doctor and her mother was a kindergarten and music teacher. She graduated from Parma High School and spent many summers at a camp in the mountains of Pennsylvania. She loved nature, shooting sports and archery, and made many friends, eventually becoming a camp counselor. After high school she completed her bachelor’s degree at the College of William & Mary in 1959. Johna was an excellent student, participating in many activities while in college, including playing cello in the orchestra, serving as an active member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and finding a new love in theatre. Her adult life began in Colonial Williamsburg as she married the love of her life, Russell T. Hastings, after graduation. Russell was a Theatre Professor at the College, and their life centered around the department’s stage productions. She also contributed to the College’s outdoor drama, The Common Glory, and worked with set building, painting scenery, and costume design. She felt at home in historic Colonial Williamsburg. Johna and Russell enjoyed their life. Their family life thrived as all three daughters, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Vanessa were born in Williamsburg. The family moved to Columbus, Ohio, for Russell’s position at The Ohio State University, Department of Theatre in 1968, and then settled in Worthington, Ohio in 1970. Johna was dedicated to her family and an active participant in her community. She was a member of the Worthington Hills Civic Association, a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, and a devoted Buckeye Fan. She cherished the new friends she made as a young mother. When her children were old enough, she found a career she loved as an amazing elementary school secretary for the Worthington School district, where her career spanned 28 years. Johna was involved in school board meetings, promoted and led workshops, and was a liaison for all the secretaries in the school district. She was devoted to her career, working to make sure the Worthington Elementary schools were top notch. One of the principals she worked with shared, “Johna is fondly remembered as a person who lovingly supported all, and made a difference for so many staff, students, and families.” Johna worked at Evening Street Elementary from 1975-1988 and helped open Park Elementary in 1988. She remained at Park Elementary until she retired in 2003. In addition to her career, Johna enjoyed supporting her daughters’ many activities, including volunteering as a board member for arts programs and supporting their Worthington High School sports, such as soccer and lacrosse. Johna was very creative. She made and sold gifts such as special Christmas ornaments or hand-sewn potholders at local stores in Williamsburg. Johna enjoyed needlepoint and embroidery, stitching many beautiful samplers. She was renowned for her creative and beautiful Ukrainian eggs that she so precisely made by hand. She carefully chose each egg, whether from chicken, duck, turkey, or rhea, and favored using brown, white or blue colored ones. The process she used included poking only 1 hole in the egg, blowing out the contents, hand drawing the intricate designs on the shell by pencil, using a sequence of covering the pattern with wax, and hand dipping the egg in different colors of dye, and finishing with varnish. This ultimately created the most stunning eggs. She loved the traditional Ukrainian designs as well as creating her own. Johna was a member of the Ohio Designer Craft Guild, and one of her juried eggs was chosen to be a Christmas Ornament on the White House tree in 1993. Her egg designs were simple, yet spectacular. They were given as gifts or sold at craft shows. She truly put a small piece of her heart into each one she made. The family asks if you have one to treasure it, as each precious egg Johna made was one of a kind. Her hands were always busy. Another passion was crocheting and donating hundreds of baby blankets for crisis pregnancy foundations. These were given as gifts to the mothers at baby showers in the Columbus area. She crocheted larger special blankets for her children and grandchildren. She would often say that each stitch was “a hug from Grandma.” Johna had a big heart for her family and friends, her pets, local wildlife, and nature. She thoroughly enjoyed little things such as seeing deer in her yard, birds at her bird feeders, snow falling, frost designs on windows, dew on spider webs, sunrises and sunsets, rain drops, rainbows, and stars in the sky. She had a knack of arranging flowers from her garden, which added joy and beauty to the dinner table. She also loved rocks and feathers and their unique colors and designs. She taught her children to enjoy these treasures of nature as well. Johna was blessed. More importantly she blessed others with her gifts. Her husband Russell battled Alzheimer’s. Though it was an emotional and trying road, she remained a consistent, loving, and supportive spouse. She was an example of how we need to love even when it is difficult and trying. She would spend time every day with Russell even when he did not recognize her. One year on their wedding anniversary, she went to the memory care unit to visit Russell at lunch. He said hello with vacant eyes and did not know her. She was kind and visited with him and helped him eat but did not mention anything about their anniversary. She kissed his cheek and headed home. She felt sad, but accepted the reality of his illness. Later that afternoon, she was rewarded with a phone call from one of his nurses who told her, “Johna, Russell said the nicest thing today about you.” He had asked the nurse: “I don’t know who that girl is. Do you know?” He then said, “well I don’t know who that girl is, but I am going to marry her someday!” Johna appreciated that kind and loving phone call from his nurse, which helped her know she had made an emotional imprint with him and, at some level, he still knew her. She returned to Russell each day, knowing in her heart that her supporting long love was worthwhile. She was loved and taught us all to love well and love long. We are so very thankful that she was able to live out her life in full at her home, where she adored her cats, all of the wild creatures that came to her yard, and simply sitting in her backyard sanctuary. Mom, you are truly blessed and a blessing to us. You were always so thankful for those who helped you along and told them so. You taught us to love the Lord and have a relationship with him in daily prayers. We thank you that you lifted all your family, friends, pets, and neighbors up every morning in prayer. We all felt those prayers. Thank you. You showed us how to be strong and stay the course even when it was not easy. You were feisty and driven. Thank you for telling us that if anyone messes with us or your grand kiddos, we need to tell them that Grandma will break their kneecaps! You showed us how to enjoy what is really important. Now we imagine you enjoying one of your favorites, the Blue Danube Waltz, maybe sharing a lovely dance with Russell (our dad), your favorite dance partner. We love you completely Mom, Gma, Johna Jean, and know how much you loved us all. Thank you for your heart and all the treasures you taught us. We miss you so very much and will see you again in Heaven. We wish you Godspeed. Our hearts are soaring that you are in a beautiful and glorious place. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Johna Jean Schauer Hastings. Johna was preceded in death by her husband Russell Theodore Hastings, daughter Elizabeth Hastings of Texas, and her parents John William & Irene (Collins) Schauer of Ohio. She is survived by her daughters Catherine Gehres (Jay) of Ohio and Vanessa Wilkinson (Wyatt) of Colorado, grandchildren Adrienne (Tomaz), Tony, Justin (Rachel), Bryon (Rachel), Collin (Zoe), Austin (Ashley), Ian, Charlie, Abby, and great grandchildren Owen, Sebastian, Mara, and Dominic. A private celebration will be held for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your favorite wildlife charity in Johna’s memory.
JOHNA JEAN SCHAUER HASTINGS 6-20-1937 to 11-26-2020 On Thursday, November 26, 2020, Johna Jean Hastings, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away at the age of 83. Johna was born in Parma, Ohio, on Father’s... View Obituary & Service Information
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JOHNA JEAN SCHAUER HASTINGS 6-20-1937 to 11-26-2020
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