Jozella “Jo” Nye, 76, passed away at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston on March 19, 2020. She was born in Casper, Wyoming, on June 20, 1943, the daughter of Olin and Zella Lovell. Through the years, Jo moved to various locations until she met Gerald (Jerry) Nye at an early age and knew he was the love of her life. When Jerry returned from military service they were married. They lived in a suburb of Des Moines where they raised two sons.

Jo was always a caregiver. This love of helping others led her to pursue a career as a nurse, earning her B.S.N. from Grand View University and Master’s Degree from Drake University. She worked at Mercy Hospital and then at the Veterans Administration Hospital until she retired due to disability.

Jo’s greatest joy was her family. She and Jerry loved hosting Sunday dinners for extended family and friends. The two worked together to prepare elaborate meals each week. A tradition for Jo was baking Easter bunny cakes with her children and later her grandchildren. Jo was outgoing and competitive—she enjoyed games of all sorts. She never turned down the chance to play cards with family and friends.

She loved to travel. When her boys were young, every summer was spent touring the United States. Her brother-in-law Michael and her husband Jerry would collect Jo and their boys--and any other friend or family member they could convince--and set out for the annual summer fishing/camping/sightseeing adventure. Later in life, Jo and Jerry loved to travel across the country to see family.

Jo loved nature and the outdoors and when it came to fishing she was quite the angler. She had an exceptional fondness for the mountains. She had an appreciation for animals. It was not uncommon for her to adopt an orphaned bunny and always made sure the squirrels had cereal to eat.

Jo is survived by her sons, Paul (Mindy) Nye and Mike (Brenda) Nye; grandchildren, Lucas, Jacob, Megan, Griffin, Jonah, Kyle, and Taylor; siblings, Olin Lovell, Marie Hammond, and Lowell Fennell; many nieces and nephews, as well as other loving family and many special friends.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Gerald (Jerry) Nye; parents, Olin and Zella (Marks) Lovell; and her siblings, Leland Lovell, Marion Ferguson, Kathryn French, Eunice Corbin, and Anne Bullington.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association in loving memory of Jo.

Online condolences may be expressed at:

Service Details

Celebration of Life
at a later date
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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