We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Wheeler Mortuary of Portales, Inc.
Jo Ann Vickers, loving mother, eternal friend to many, and a true class act, entered the Kingdom of Heaven on May 27, 2022, at the age of 97 years. Jo Ann was born on May 1, 1925, in Hollywood, CA to Mary Lee (Hanna) and Joe Evans, and lived in Bethpage, TN until 1933 when they moved to New Mexico. She graduated from Floyd High School as the Valedictorian of her class on May 21, 1943. However, if you asked her, the fondest memory she had of this time was meeting her future husband, Rogene Vickers. He served in World War II for 33 months. After Rogene returned from the War, he took Jo Ann on five dates, and they were married in Portales on July 1, 1945.
During the early years of her marriage, and while completing her Bachelor’s Degree in English at Eastern New Mexico University, Jo Ann was a teacher in Floyd, NM. Her love of educating children was only outmatched by her love for her family, so, after five years of teaching, Jo Ann would pause her career to raise her children. God called her husband, Rogene, to join him on June 25, 1972. At the same time, He called Jo Ann back to her teaching career in the fall of 1973 at Portales High School, where she taught English and Humanities for the next 17 years. During this time, she ultimately obtained her Masters Degree and Ed Specialist Degree from ENMU. Jo Ann lovingly and faithfully supported her children, and positively impacted the lives of thousands of students during her illustrious career. When asked about how she was able to stay so positive for her family and students while grieving the loss of her husband, she would quote William Shakespeare, saying “Tears water our growth”.
Jo Ann was an avid reader and continued her love of reading Shakespeare and the Bible well into her retirement. She also enjoyed many other hobbies and passions. She began playing Bridge and attained the rank of Silver Life Master. She competed in tournaments in Texas and New Mexico. She also played Duplicate Bridge weekly with Joan Gresham, Charles May and Father John. Her love of her community led her to be an active member of PEO, Beta Sigma Phi, and Phi Kappa Phi. She was a phenomenal seamstress, who could make and sew dresses, draperies, costumes, bedspreads and Christmas stockings and ornaments, as well as save an outfit with a minute to spare. She loved cooking and baking for family and friends and didn’t even need a recipe.
Jo Ann and Rogene loved boating and water skiing, and passed that love on to their children and grandchildren. Jo Ann water skied on one ski until age 82. Even after that time, she thought there was nothing better than being at the lake, and on the boat, with her family. She was a tried, true and loyal fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, and could discuss the team and players for hours. She rarely missed a game on TV, and did not like to be interrupted when a game was being played, unless you were discussing the game. She finally had the opportunity to see her team play in person against the Denver Nuggets with her son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Stephen.
Jo Ann was a proud member of Central Christian Church, and her walk with God was steadfast and serves as a model for all of us. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. As we mourn, we celebrate that she is holding hands with the Lord and awaiting our arrival.
Jo Ann is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Ellis and Sheryl Vickers of Roswell, NM; her daughter, LeeAnn Hutchins of Clovis, NM; seven grandchildren, Michael (Shannon) Vickers, Morgan (Cisco) Rivera, Stephen (Jessica) Vickers, William (Carey) Hutchins, Brandy (Rodney) Reynolds, Tami (James) Herriage, and Christine (Mike) Greene; twelve great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, her brother (Jimmy Evans), her younger sister (Barbara Sparks), her older sister and brother-in-law (Kate and Gov Imoe), and her son-in-law (Randy Hutchins).
Funeral Services for Jo Ann Vickers will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 9, 2022, at Central Christian Church in Portales, NM, with Pastor Don Thomas officiating. Internment services will immediately follow at the Portales Cemetery.
Michael Vickers, Stephen Vickers, Cisco Rivera, Bill Hutchins, Rodney Reynolds, and Garrett Hutchins will serve as pallbearers. Jo Ann’s church family, bridge group, neighbors, caretakers and friends, including her special friend, Brandon, will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Christian Church, 1528 South Main Street, Portales, NM 88130. What an amazing life Jo Ann lived until the age of 97.