In Memory of Jo Ann Riessen

Jo Ann Riessen
Jo Ann Riessen
Born: December 16, 1938
Died: December 12, 2020
Age: 81
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Jo Ann Riessen
December 16, 1938 - December 12, 2020
From: Battle Creek, IA

Jo Ann Riessen, age 81, of Battle Creek, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at the Horn Memorial Hospital of Ida Grove, Iowa, following a brief illness.

A Private Family Graveside Service will be held in the Mount Hope Cemetery of Battle Creek, Iowa, with Rev. Randy Cormeny officiating. A full celebration of life for friends and family to be held at a later date. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are mandatory and social distancing rules apply during the service. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Battle Creek, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at

Jo Ann Riessen, the daughter of Walter and Fern (Hansen) Riessen, was born at home on December 16, 1938. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Battle Creek, IA. Jo Ann was raised on the family farm southeast of Battle Creek and attended Battle Creek Community School through the 8th grade.

Jo Ann had been a member of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church while living in Mapleton, IA and at the time of her passing, was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Battle Creek. 

She worked on the farm with her mother and father before becoming a live-in care provider for a family with four children in Battle Creek, a position she retained for several years.  In the early 70’s, Jo Ann moved to Mapleton where she met her partner in life, Francis Burkhart, whom she lost to illness in 1998. During their time together, Jo Ann and Francis enjoyed collecting horse memorabilia which was proudly displayed in their home. She worked in various restaurants and helped serve meals at the Community Center in Mapleton throughout the years.  Jo Ann survived the Mapleton tornado of April 2011; however, her home was destroyed during the storm. Wanting to remain in Mapleton, she purchased another home where she resided for several years before declining health led her to move to the Willow Dale Wellness Village in Battle Creek. In early January of 2019, Jo Ann moved to the Willow Dale Care Center where she spent the remainder of her life.  

Jo Ann loved to put together puzzles and do various craft projects, which she generously shared with her extended family, especially kitchen towels onto which she crocheted a hanging tuft so they could be securely hung on towel racks.

Those left to cherish her memory include her sister, Lois Jensen and brother, Ronald Riessen both of Battle Creek, along with numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Jo Ann was preceded in death by her partner of 25 years, Francis Burkhart; her parents, Fern and Walter Riessen; a sister, Alberta Reitz; brothers-in-law Marvin Jensen and Raymond Reitz; and a sister-in-law Sheryll Riessen.


Private Family Graveside Service


Rev. Randy Cormeny


Mount Hope Cemetery
Battle Creek, Iowa


Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 12:04 PM
“So sorry Lois and Ron for the loss of your sister. God Bless
- Fern Krayenhagen
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