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Obituary: Joanne (Jo) Loughlin Sanderson (03/14/22)

Joanne (Jo) Loughlin Sanderson, 94, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, March 7, 2022, surrounded by her family.

Funeral mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, Cherokee, Iowa on Friday, March 18, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. Father Dan Rupp will officiate.

Arrangements are being made by Greenwood Schubert Funeral Home. Family visitation will be Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 206 West Main Street in Cherokee Iowa, Rosary at 6:00 p.m.

Online condolences can be sent to family at

Joanne Loughlin Sanderson, daughter of Margaret Josephine (Jo) and John Joseph (“Jiggs”) Donohue, was born on June 18, 1927 in Sioux City, Iowa. She was proud of her 100% Irish heritage. She had 5 brothers, Jimmy, Phil, Jack, Ken and her twin Tommy.

“Jo,” as she liked to be called, graduated from Central High School in Sioux City. A highlight of her time in high school was being proud to be a member of a 12-girl group called “The Dirty Dozen.” Jo outlived all of her siblings and Dirty Dozen buddies.

She attended St. Mary of the Woods Private Catholic College in Terre Haute, Indiana for 2 years. She continued her education at the University of Iowa where she met her future husband, John D. Loughlin, who was attending Iowa Law School. They married in Sioux City, Iowa in 1949, and moved to Cherokee, Iowa, in 1950, where John D. joined his father John F. Loughlin at the Loughlin law firm. Jo and John raised seven children and built a fulfilling life in Cherokee, Iowa at 700 West Cherry Street for 50 years.

She was a member of Immaculate Conception (IC) Parish, Cherokee Country Club, Cherokee Community Theater, where she received two Best Actress Awards (Janney’s). She taught CCD classes at IC Parish, was active with Catholic Daughters and a founding member of its Bridge Club in the early 1950s. Additionally, Jo loved working at Hope’s Fashion Farm for many years with all the girls in Hope. Her wit, wisdom and quiet strength were a gift to all who knew her.

Jo was also known as an excellent cook and was famous for her deviled eggs, chocolate chip cookies, basil French bread and the infamous Jack Lirio Torte. Jo was her good friend Joan Steele’s “sous-chef” at Joan’s Cordon Bleu cooking school in Cherokee. A highlight for Jo was when she met Julia Child in 1979 in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 2002, Jo reconnected online with Jack Sanderson, a former classmate who lived in Tucson, Arizona. They married in September 2003 at Maryhill Catholic Church. They wintered in Tucson, Arizona for 5 years, and moved to Cherokee full time in 2008. Jo enjoyed a loving friendship with Jack’s adult children, Janet Sanderson, Mike (Shelly) Sanderson and their son Ian.

Jo was delighted with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved being called “GG JO”. She is survived by her children, Mary Loughlin (John Snapp), Ann Loughlin, John (Jay) Loughlin (Mollie Loughlin), Joan (Jomi) Anderson (Jimmy Davis), Barbara (Barbi) Mahoney (Andy Mahoney), Betsy Kigin , and Patricia (Patty) Loughlin. She is also survived by her 15 grandchildren, Samuel Gustafson, John Loughlin, James Loughlin, Nicholas Loughlin, Patrick Loughlin, Megan Skaggs, Emily Vickery, Brian Mahoney, Charles Mahoney, John (Jack) Mahoney, Molly Mahoney, Margaret ( Maggie) Sullivan, Timothy (Tim) Kigin and Kathryn (Katie) Kigin. Additionally, Jo had 12 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her special friends and neighbors, Jodi and Bob Feser. She was predeceased by her first husband, John D. Loughlin, her second husband, John M. Sanderson, and her grandson, Joseph P. Gustafson.

Memorials can be sent to: Church of the Immaculate Conception for a memorial bench to be placed in the meditation garden near the church.