Joan H. “Jody” Watt
July 14, 1939 – December 23, 2022
VISITATION: Friday, January 13th, 5-7pm, West Center Chapel.
SERVICE: Saturday, January 14th, 10:30am, Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S 114th St. Interment: Evergreen Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the Presbyterian Church of the Cross.
To view a live broadcast of the service, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the homepage.
Preceded in death by parents Gale and Lois Forssen. Survived by her husband Francis; brother, John; 2 children, Sue (Todd) and Jean (Mark); 2 grandchildren, Catherine and Nichole (Andy); and 1 great-grandchild, Eli.
Jody was born in Montpelier, Vermont, on July 14, 1939. She talked often of summers spent on Granite and Spofford Lakes in New Hampshire, of moving to the old Mill House in Munsonville in 1956, and attending high school in Keene. She was married in 1960 to Frank, and while he was working in Greenland, she lived with his dad in East Sullivan.
After Frank joined Kiewit, there were many moves. Jody would organize the kids, the packing and unpacking from New Hampshire, to New Jersey, to Luquillo, Puerto Rico, to Omaha the first time in 1967; to Ohio in 1970, and finally back to Omaha again in 1976.
Jody loved music and found a music program to join wherever she went. In addition to ringing handbells and singing in the choir, she had the opportunity to lead both the youth and adult bell choirs for many years. She participated in the reconditioning and building of two church organs. She also took every opportunity to expose the entire family to this passion for music: season tickets to the symphony, music lessons, and impromptu sing-a-longs at the piano with a hymnbook, her pile of sheet music, holiday songs, or those big collections of “songs everyone should know.” Sometimes we sang around the electric organ her dad had built. Jody took piano lessons most of her life, in a tireless effort to improve her playing. In her 60s, she began lessons on the pipe organ she’d helped to build. A lifelong alto, she recently moved to the tenor section so she could continue to sing in the choir.
As a volunteer, she served for many years as the treasurer of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras board, and was known by many as the “OAYO t-shirt lady.” She volunteered for every church youth trip possible and chaperoned so many of these trips, it is hard to recount.
Jody had a very artistic nature and a strong sense of design. She excelled at any skill involving her hands: drawing, sewing, painting, wallpapering, and woodworking, and she passed these skills on to her family. The list of power tools she mastered was impressive. She designed a beautiful addition to the 125th Avenue house, which became the home for her beloved grand piano. She and Frank built almost the entire addition by themselves. She also designed the kitchen and pool renovations in their current home. She delighted in spending time searching for just the right fabrics, colors, patterns, and styles and turning her dreams into reality.
Jody’s other passions were bowling, swimming, and the Boston Red Sox. In 1968, she was a contestant on Bowling for Dollars, a local TV show. Most recently, unable to bowl left-handed because of a bad hip, she taught herself how to bowl right-handed. She was so proud that at over 80, she had raised her average back to over 100. She kept bowling to the end. On most warm days, you would find her in their pool, just after the shade hit the water, swimming laps to keep in shape. How she celebrated when in 2004, the Red Sox finally broke the curse and won their first World Series during her lifetime.
Finally, Jody adored her two grandchildren and was so excited to recently become a great-grandparent.