Joanne Schaefer (Mangin) Whitney died peacefully on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:00 P.M. in the hospital, after a short illness.
Born in Evanston, Illinois on February 22, 1930 and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, Joanne attended St. Joseph Elementary and St. Scholastica High School in Chicago. Joanne also attended Barat College in Lake Forest. Married to Frank Mangin in 1950 in Camp Cook near Santa Barbara, they settled and raised six children in Phoenix. They are Margaret Mangin, Gary Mangin, Didar Singh Khalsa (m. Didar Kaur), Michael Mangin, Mary Violet Relling (m. Bill Evans) and Stephen Mangin (m. Deidre). All are in reasonably thriving condition and have managed 14 grandchildren for Joanne and many great grandchildren. Her grandchildren loved her almost as much as her children. She is also survived by sisters Helen Schantz and Peggy Valaski.
After the first marriage ended in 1974, Joanne married Arizona rancher Art Whitney and they remained in Phoenix until Art died in 1998. Joanne then moved briefly to San Diego to help with granddaughter Lauren and then for 17 years to Memphis where she helped with four other grandsons who cherished her dearly.
Joanne was an active member of the Saint Francis/Brophy/Xavier community. She often served as “Room Mother” at SFX grammar school, drove to many of her kids’ sporting and social events with other kids in tow, attended sporting events (although sometimes closing her eyes during suspenseful free throws), participated in neighborhood bridge parties, and kept active in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Her children remember the incredible kindness that Joanne showed to their friends in the Central and Camelback area. Her house was often the neighborhood hub for many kids who were friends with her children. “Five more for dinner” was not uncommon and she was so loving and graceful that the friends were also under her spell. No matter the challenges that they threw at her she never stopped believing in and loving her offspring. Small miracle.
She moved back to Phoenix in October to be near Gary and in her “hometown” where she spent so many happy years.
Visitation/Rosary to be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, on Friday, June 21, 2019 from 6-8:00 P.M. with Rosary at 6:15 P.M. Funeral Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 3:00 P.M.
Gail and Karl Schledwitz
Our condolences on the loss of your mom. While it’s never easy to lose a parent, based on your FB posts and memorial, she lived a full and happy life. It’s so nice to see you’re enjoying your memories of her childhood and yours as her children. Clearly this will be a celebration of her life. Our thoughts are with your family as you come together to finalize Joanne ‘s journey.
My heart and prayers are with you all. My dad’s sister and my godmother, JoAnne was a special part of my life. I feel very fortunate that I was able to get to know her after we moved to Arizona in 1979. The memories that first come to mind always start with her hosting so many family gatherings. She was always such a gracious hostess, usually with a glass of champagne at the ready, and I remember her as being a positive, happy person. I also remember being invited to spend time with JoAnne and Art on their house boat on Lake Powell, at the house in Pinetop and at Art’s ranch in Sunflower. I also remember that she never forgot me at Christmas or my birthday.
Thinking and praying for you all as you celebrate the life of Joanne. She sounds like an amazing person who lived a wonderful life. We are sorry for your loss.
Jeff Sanford & Cynthia Ham
The loss of a mother is never easy, but take some comfort in knowing she will live on in the hearts and memories of all who loved her. Cindy joins me in offering our sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time.
Jeff & Cindy
My thoughts and prayers are with your beautiful family as you celebrate your Mom’s very wonderfully blessed life. Your Mom was a very special part of many people’s lives and continues to be an inspiration to us all.