Retired nurse, master gardener, loving mom, grandma and friend to many who never met a stranger, Jo Ellen Morgan age 69 passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday January 20th surrounded by her family following a courageous battle with ALS ( Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Jo Ellen (Tibken) Morgan was born on February 22, 1951 in Atlantic, IA, the daughter of Albert Henry and Eleanor Collier (Knop) Tibken. Jo was raised on the family farm and was active in 4-H and the LYC Church Youth Group. She graduated high school at C & M High School in Massena, IA in the class of 1969. After high school Jo Ellen went to nursing school at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines, IA which she completed in the spring of 1972 becoming a registered nurse. Jo began her 45-year nursing career at Boone County hospital in the summer of 1973 before working at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. She relocated to Wiota, IA and started working at Cass County hospital in Atlantic, IA as an ER nurse for the next 12 years. In the summer of 1985 Jo moved to Garden City, KS and continued her career as an ER nurse at St. Catherine Hospital. After 25 years in Garden City Jo Ellen relocated to Lenexa, KS where she finished her career at the Surgicenter of Johnson County where she retired in 2018. She cherished her relationships with other nurses and doctors and was never shy to strike up conversations and get to know all of her patients.
Jo Ellen was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and her faith was very important to her. She enjoyed golfing, playing pickleball and traveling with friends and family. She was able to see several parts of the world with trips to Hawaii, Germany, France, Switzerland, Ireland, China, a safari in Africa, London and her last trip was to Los Angeles to see the Rose Bowl parade and game in January of 2020. Jo was a big sports fan and a K-State season ticket holder for the past 20 years for football and basketball and was a member of The K-State athletics National Leadership Circle.
One of Jo’s greatest joys was being a grandma. She was at the hospital the day that each of her four grandchildren were born. She enjoyed spoiling each one of them and even built out a playroom in her house just for the grandkids; a place where they had many sleepovers. In Jo’s later years she devoted a majority of her free time to attending her grandsons sporting events.
When Jo wasn’t working, spending time with family, golfing or attending sporting events she was working in the garden. When she was a little girl she loved to garden with her mother and always had a love for roses. After retiring as a registered nurse, she became a Master Gardener with the K-State research and extension for Johnson County. She volunteered her time between the gardens at Deanna Rose and her favorite garden the Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum.
Jo is survived by her sons Matthew (Mandi) Morgan of Overland Park, KS, grandsons Drew and Dylan; Grant (Liz) Morgan of Garden City, KS, granddaughters Kennedy and Emma. Survived by the father of her children Joe Morgan, Brother James (Pamela) Tibken of Wiota, IA, niece Shara Tibken and nephews Brooke and Tucker Tibken, sister-in-law, Martha Tibken of Atlantic, IA nephew Michael Tibken and niece Julie Ecklin; brother-in-law Gene Nilan of Lincoln, NE, nephews Mark and Jeff Nilan, niece Alicia Hwang.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Eleanor Tibken, brothers, Richard and Robert Tibken and sister Patricia Nilan.
A Visitation will be held from 12:00 - 1:00 pm, followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00 pm, Tuesday January 26, 2021 at Christ Lutheran Church, 11720 Nieman Rd in Overland Park, KS 66210. Masks are required at all services. Burial will follow in Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS.
The Funeral Service will be live streamed on the church website at https://vimeo.com/503544916