JoAnn Catherine Sulzen was surrounded by her family as she passed away on the evening of March 27, 2022, in her home, at the age of 79. She was born to the parents of Paul and Josephine Rose (Reineke) Altenhofen on December 17, 1942, on the family farm near Goff, Kansas. She attended the elementary parochial schools in Seneca and graduated from high school in Kansas City, Kansas.
JoAnn worked at AT&T as a switchboard operator before her marriage and then was a homemaker for her family. JoAnn was well known for her love and kindness and welcomed everyone into her home. She was famous for her baking and sewing and loved her husband and children very much. She enjoyed family vacations and camping with them. JoAnn was greatly involved in her church and in the Altar & Rosary society of St. Vincent de Paul Church in KC, Immaculate Conception in ID, and a supporter of the New Immaculata Church in St. Marys, KS where her home has been for the last few years.
JoAnn married Paul J Sulzen on May 13, 1961, at St. Peter’s Cathedral, in Kansas City, KS. They raised 12 of their 13 children as “Baby Eddie” was directed to heaven shortly after his birth. JoAnn and Paul adopted 8 of their 13 children and they gave them a home of unending sacrifice and love. Her selflessness and sweet caring personality will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was preceded in death by her parents, her son Edwin, her grandsons Phillip Sulzen, and Edwin and Isaac Schwanbeck.
She is survived by her family: her beloved husband Paul, her 5 sons and their families, Rex, John & Mary Frances (14 children, 13 grandchildren), Ron & Patty (9 children, 5 grandchildren), Fr. Carl Sulzen, and James; her 7 daughters and their families: Mary Ann (2 children), Paula & Robert (11 children, 3 grandchildren), Lori & Marc (2 children), Celia & John (5 children), Angie (3 children), Maria & Marty (3 children) and Philomena; 50 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Her brothers Paul and Gene Altenhofen and their wives remain among the living.
A Requiem Mass will be offered at 11:00 am, Thursday, March 31, at Assumption Chapel in St. Marys, KS. Interment will be in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, St. Marys. “Mom” will lie in state and the family will receive friends on Wednesday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Piper Funeral Home. The Rosary will be on Wednesday evening at 5:20 in the Assumption chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the New Immaculata Church by clicking here.