Jo Ellen Sauer, 74, passed away June 11, 2020 in Castle Rock, CO. She was born June 28, 1945 in Chicago, IL to William C. and Elsie (Johnson) Johnson who preceded her in death.
Jo Ellen grew up in Elmhurst, IL, a Chicago suburb, until her dad was transferred to Oklahoma City, OK in 1960. In Oklahoma City, Jo Ellen met the love of her life, Rick Arnold Sauer, at Putnam City High School, where they graduated with the Class of 1963. She went on to earn a BA in English from Oklahoma State University in 1966 and an MA in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1985.
Jo Ellen married Rick Arnold Sauer (U.S. Army Capt. Ret.) in 1966 at Grace United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, OK. After Rick left the Army, they made their home in Moore, OK where together they raised two wonderful children and lived for forty-seven years.
Before retiring from the Moore School District in 2012, Jo was a beloved, dedicated 6th through 9th grade teacher who spent many hours inside and outside the classroom working with her students. She taught at Central Elementary 1971-75, Kelley Elementary 1976-85, and from 1986-2012 at Highland East Jr. High where she was a department head and academic team sponsor. A true English Literature teacher, she could recite Chaucer in Middle English and most of A Tale of Two Cities by heart. Jo Ellen was the Moore Public Schools Teacher of The Year in ’95-’96.
When she was not busy educating the young minds of her community, you would find Jo raising vegetables of all kinds in her enormous garden. She shared this love with her grandchildren who have fond memories of summers spent gardening, cooking and canning with her. Family and friends gathered annually to enjoy the produce of her garden and her fantastic barbecue that she cooked for the family Fourth of July celebrations that she and Rick hosted at their acreage home.
Her laugh was infectious, her wit was razor sharp, and her heart golden. Her family will deeply miss Grammy, who handed time-honored Swedish traditions down to the next generations and made so many new ones to keep dear.
She is survived by her husband, Rick; son, Richard Sauer of Houston, TX; daughter, Catherine Cooper (Ryan) of Castle Rock, CO; brother, Bill Johnson (Jodie) of Atlanta, GA; brother, Ernie Johnson (Lynn) of Chandler, OK; grandchildren, Emory Sauer Roehrkasse of Ft. Collins, CO, Maggie Sauer of Houston, TX, Logan and Bryce Cooper of Castle Rock, CO.
Visitation will be at 4:00pm, Thursday, June 18, 2020 with Funeral Service starting at 5:00pm at Cornerstone Presbyterian, 2607 5th Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104. Jo Ellen will rest at the National Cemetery at Ft. Logan, CO.
Live streaming of the funeral service can be viewed at https://www.cornerstonepc.org/live
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jo Ellen Sauer’s name at www.mooreshcoolsfoundation.org.
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