Clara “Jolene” Mersereau Metzger, 82, of Wichita, KS passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Wesley Memorial Hospital, from complications of COVID. Jolene was born on September 17, 1938 in Neodesha, KS to Mack and Velma Mersereau. She obtained her GED from Independence High School and went on to obtain her nurse’s aide certification.
Jolene married Bob Metzger in 1955 and they had 3 children, divorcing in 1992. While married, Jolene lived and worked on the family farm in Lafontaine, KS. She worked from sunup to sundown doing anything and everything that needed to be done - whether that be working in the fields; driving tractors; unloading grain trucks; running back and forth to town for equipment parts; or fixing meals, all while maintaining the family home.
After her divorce, Jolene moved to Wichita and lived with her daughter, Gina, helping to raise and take care of Gina’s children. Her love for children prompted her to open an in-home day care. She quickly became known as “grandma” or “GMa Jo Jo” to the children she took care of and her biological grandchildren.
In 2004, Jolene moved to Sheridan Village in Wichita and became a friend to many. She loved to decorate her end of the hall for the Holidays and the residents would sit outside her apartment for hours. After a fall in January 2020, she moved to Ascension Living Via Christi Village assisted living where she quickly took a liking to Poly Mochama, one of her caregivers.
Jolene herself was a “kid” at heart and many times was the instigator of mischief much to her grandchildren’s delight! Anything from starting a popcorn fight in the movie theatre; jumping in the kiddie pool with her regular clothes on; hiding behind the couch to shoot NERF arrows; or “burning rubber” in the driveway in her pickup truck. Jolene would spend hours drawing her famous action stick figures, with captions of course, for the cards she loved to give. These cards became a staple for her grandchildren, and they loved and looked forward to receiving them!
Jolene was also an animal lover and rescued a stray kitten, Sugar, who became her companion for over fifteen years. Sugar was always by her side until three months ago when she passed.
Jolene was the kind of person that once you met her, you could not help but love her. She was an extraordinarily strong woman who endured a lot of adversity during her life, but she never gave up or let that diminish her love and encouragement of others. Family was everything to her. She was generous, kind, thoughtful and caring, and gave great advice often without even knowing it. She was extremely witty and funny, making you laugh until you cried. She loved God and Angels and loved to tell the story of her seeing an Angel as a small girl when her grandmother passed away. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially her family.
Jolene was preceded in death by her parents, Mack and Velma (Rosson) Mersereau of Independence, Ks and her brother Bill Mersereau of Coffeyville, KS. Jolene is survived by her three children: Rocky Metzger of Neodesha, KS, Roxanna (Monty) Friebel of Myrtle Beach, SC, and Gina Morris of Wichita, KS. Six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Monday, January 4th at Webb and Rodrick Chapel at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. A celebration of Jolene’s life will begin at 1:00 pm at Webb and Rodrick Chapel with interment immediately following at Mount Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested a memorial contribution be made in Jolene’s name to AMVETS https://support.amvets.org/default.aspx?tsid=9966/. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit www.webbrodrickchapel.com.
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