Joanne N. Berkshire

Joanne N. Berkshire

Nov. 3, 1928 – Dec. 11, 2023

Preceded in death by her husband, Robert.

FUNERAL: Saturday,  Dec 16, 2023, 3:00 p.m., followed by a Visitation with the family, all at West Center Chapel. INTERMENT: Forest Lawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, Memorials are suggested to University of Nebraska Foundation – Robert & Joanne Berkshire Fund or Willa Cather Foundation.

Preceded in death by husband, Robert; parents, David and Pauline Noble; brother, David Noble Jr. Survived by son, Richard Berkshire; daughters: Janet Berkshire, Leslie Berkshire and Laurie (Paul) Meyers; grandchildren: Andrew, Julie, Timothy and Matthew Berkshire and Lauren (Jalen) Richman and Jacob (Madison) Meyers; her great-grandchild and namesake, Ava Joanne Meyers; nephew, David Noble, III.

Joanne was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 3, 1928. Her family loved the outdoors and her earliest memories were of going on picnics, camping and horseback riding. She attended Central High School in Omaha where she was voted “peppiest” in her class and was crowned Miss Central her senior year.

She spent several summers as a riding counselor at Camp Cheley, a horseback riding camp in Estes Park, CO. She loved sharing stories about Cheley which she recalls as some of the “happiest times of her life”.

She attended William Woods, an all-girls finishing school for two years before transferring to UNL where she joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority making lifelong friendships. She stayed active in the sorority for the rest of her life and in March of 2023, she and her friends were honored for 75 years of service.

Joanne married Robert Berkshire in June of 1953 and they enjoyed life together for 57 years. Bob and Joanne loved to travel with family and friends – skiing in Copper Mountain, biking throughout Europe and taking trips all over the world.

After getting married, Joanne worked as a teacher for 5 years but quit teaching to raise their children, managing the schedules of four very active kids; attending basketball games, swim meets, track meets, soccer games, volleyball matches, baseball/softball games and other events for her kids and grandkids.

She was a career community volunteer and philanthropist in addition to supporting school and sports activities for all of her children. Joanne was a Camp Fire Girls Leader, a Softball Coach, PTA Leader, Deacon at Dundee Presbyterian Church and a Trustee at the University of Nebraska Foundation. She also supported and/or volunteered at the Junior League, Omaha School for the Deaf, Omaha Community Playhouse, Law Wives, Colonial Dames, Willa Cather Foundation, Henry Doorly Zoo, Lauritzen Gardens and others.

In 2014, she moved to Brookestone Village where she expanded her family by establishing friendships with residents and staff. At Brookestone, she served as President of the Resident Council and attended monthly staff meetings as a representative for the community residents.

Joanne was an avid reader, played Wordle, Connections and Wordscapes daily and watched every Houston Astros game to cheer on her grandson. She was a passionate Husker fan her entire life – dressing in red to watch the games.

Joanne loved spending time with her family and was extremely proud of each of her six grandchildren. “Gma” as she was affectionately known to them, loved following their active lives and accomplishments and enjoyed sharing updates with her many friends as well as her Brookestone community. She also remained active in her book club, her Theta group, and PEO where she has continued her love of education, philanthropy and sisterhood.

Joanne’s most cherished possession was her time with family and friends. Her happiness and optimism were infectious and brought joy to the lives she touched. She approached life with a sense of grace, love, humor and gratitude. She is greatly missed but her legacy will remain forever in our hearts.


  • Scott and Ginger Thayer Posted December 14, 2023 11:37 am

    We are sending you all comforting thoughts, and hoping that your family will find themselves surrounded by loving, sweet memories of your Mother/Grandmother that bring a smile.

  • Mark Stevens Posted December 14, 2023 1:39 pm

    Leslie, condolences to you and your Family. God bless all of you and know that you are in my prayers.

  • Cathy Mclane Posted December 14, 2023 6:56 pm

    She will be greatly missed – but indeed, what a legacy!! Thinking of you all and sending wishes for comfort in your shared stories and wonderful memories. Much love, Cathy

  • Peg Pearson Posted December 14, 2023 8:08 pm

    I am so thankful to have met Joanne through Kappa Alpha Theta! I went to Westside and Nebraska with Laurie and Paul, but did not meet Joanne until much later. She lived every day to the fullest, and reminded me to enjoy every minute we are given. Her kind heart, fabulous sense of humor and love for service inspire me to this day. Her children, grandchildren , family and friends are in my prayers as the celebrate such a wonderful life!

  • Jay Yost & Wade Leak Posted December 15, 2023 4:27 pm

    Dear Laurie and Paul,
    We were so saddened to hear of Joanne’s passing. She was such a dear person and one whom I would have liked to have known better earlier in her life.
    The support that she and your Dad gave to the Willa Cather Foundation over the years, and in one crucial time period, made all the difference in allowing the Foundation to move forward.
    Her (and your) family connections to Red Cloud are deep and it was always great fun talking with her about LeRoy Tait, the editor of one of the local newspapers, and Lyra Garber, the prototype for Marian Forrester in “A Lost Lady”. She was so proud of her heritage and loved discussing her genealogy with my sister, Suzi Schulz.
    Joanne’s now onto a better place with your Dad, but I cherish her memory and I wish you and your family Godspeed.
    With kind regards,
    Jay & Wade

  • Jennifer Pansing Posted December 16, 2023 7:20 am

    I was blessed to know Joanne and admire her positive outlook, even in adversity. Sending love and deepest sympathy from Tom and me.

  • Jean Lund Posted December 20, 2023 5:26 pm

    Joanne was a dear Brookestone friend to my mom Gerry for 5 years. Our family loved sitting at the dining table sharing stories! Thank you for your friendship to our family! RIP dear sweet lady!

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