JoAnn Clifton — February 18, 1937 – February 3, 2020 - Age 82 years
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 14th, 2020 at the Orchard Hill Cemetery in Orchard, Nebraska.
Johanna Ellen Nikodym was born in Meadow Grove, Nebraska to Adeline and Edward Nikodym. She had three older brothers, Dwayne, Bob, and Jim. The family farmed outside of Meadow Grove. During World War II they moved to Tacoma, Washington where her Dad worked in the shipyards, building ships. After the war they returned to Nebraska. She attended school in Meadow Grove, Tacoma, and country schools around Newman Grove, Nebraska. JoAnn attended Wheaton Academy in Wheaton, Illinois during her senior year in high school and graduated from there in 1955. She had many fond memories of being a student there. She worked as a Dental Assistant for Dr. Murphy in Neligh, Nebraska. During that time she met Gary Clifton, who lived in the same apartment building and was teaching school there in Neligh. They were married on March 16,1957 in Meadow Grove. They moved to Albion, Nebraska where Gary taught high school. In August of 1959 their daughter Teresa was born. Then they moved to Auburn, Nebraska where Gary taught school. While living in Auburn their son Brian was born in November of 1962. In 1963 they moved to Scottsbluff where Gary taught school until he retired. After the kids started school JoAnn worked as a teacher's aid and a Dental Assistant. She also worked for the State of Nebraska running the Dental Program for Migrant Workers in the panhandle. She also worked in the office of their church for several years. JoAnn loved to entertain and was known to be a very good cook and for her elaborate table settings. She took a class in cake decorating with a friend and enjoyed making fancy cakes for family and friends' birthdays and the occasional wedding. Gary and JoAnn were involved in a Bridge Club with the same group of friends for about 40 years. They would get together monthly to play bridge and enjoy their friendships.
JoAnn was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis while in her 30's. This hindered many things she wanted and liked to do. When she was 62 she had several Trigeminal Neuralgia attacks, something from which she would never fully recover. In 2001 they decided to sell their home in Scottsbluff and move to Orem, Utah to be closer to their son. Brian purchased a home which had an apartment in it where Gary and JoAnn lived until they each went into Assisted Living. Gary in 2014 & JoAnn in 2016.
JoAnn joined Gary in assisted living about six months before he passed away in May of 2017. She enjoyed being with him again. She continued to live in assisted living until she passed away.
JoAnn's Number 1 priority was her family, immediate as well as extended. She and Gary always put Teresa and Brian, and then later their grandchildren, as the most important people in their lives. Friends were very important to them as well.
JoAnn is survived by her brother Dwayne (Merle), daughter Teresa (Jim) Ansley, and son Brian (Judy) Clifton as well as their 5 grandchildren: Elizabeth Ellen Ansley, Caitlin Grace Ansley, Audrey Clara Clifton Earl (Andrew), and Blake Brian Clifton.