Betty Jo Suhr Winkelmann, 81, Arlington, VA, passed peacefully at the hospital on May 8, 2019, with her husband of 52 years and other family by her side. She was born August 15, 1937, in Saginaw, MI, the daughter of Robert and Vivian Villers Suhr. She grew up in Olney, IL.
Jo is survived by her husband, David Winkelmann, 3 children, and 7 grandchildren. These include daughter Jennifer Jo (husband Greg Chamish and their twins Emily and Zachary) and her twin sons Jeffrey Dierks (wife April Cressel and children Leah and Alex) and Bradley Paul (wife Laura Hernandez and children Eva, Nina, and Xavier).
After getting her BS at Eastern Illinois University and working as an Extension Service home agent in IL, she pursued her MS at the University of Illinois, where she met David. They married in Ashland, IL, Dave’s hometown, on April 30, 1967. After graduate school, she taught high school home economics in IL and MD until their first child was born. She then decided to end her career to be with her children and their friends, many who still call her “Mama Wink.” She volunteered with Arlington Co. schools, including writing a proposal that got Federal funding for an innovative early education program built around Montessori principles.
Jo loved international travel, first teaching in Ecuador for a month in a YMCA program in 1966, followed by a month in Bolivia where Dave was a Peace Corps volunteer. She accompanied Dave on business trips many times, and they often vacationed overseas, as well, both together and with their children and their friends. A favorite spot was Grand Cayman, where they went for 20 years. She also loved cruises, with 135 days at sea. Death came unexpectedly, even though she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 7 years ago and had other health issues.