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JoAnn Chernikovich

Obituary for JoAnn Chernikovich

February 23, 2021
Westlake, Ohio

Beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Great-Great Grandmother


JoAnn Francis Gower Weaver Ziegler Dinsio Chernikovich died peacefully at her home February 23, 2021, in Westlake, Ohio with her sweetheart Joseph Priorie at her side. JoAnn fought a brave and tenacious two year battle with cancer.

JoAnn was born to Kathrine Gower in Cleveland, Ohio November 10, 1935. She is survived by her daughters, Doreen Ziegler, of Salem, Ohio and Kimberly Dinsio of Hartville, Ohio. A son, Bradley Ziegler, proceeded his mother in death.

JoAnn has 5 grandchildren: Bethlehem (Greg) Backes of Snoqualmie, WA Matthew (Jessica) Holden of Columbiana, OH Deborah Kay (Charles) Dietrich of North Bend, WA Chelsey (Charles) Davis of Ocala, FL Titus McCrone of Hartville, Ohio. Her legacy includes 12 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

JoAnn also leaves her loving sweetheart Joseph Priorie of Westlake, Ohio with whom she spent her latter years. The entire Priorie family embraced her as their own, and will keep her in their memories always.

JoAnn was raised as a foster kid in North Lima, Ohio. Her foster parents did not allow her education beyond the 10th grade. She began working as a nurse's aide at Salem City Hospital, Salem Ohio for nearly a decade. She made sure that she worked each department, determined to get her nursing degree in spite of the lack of formal education, which was foisted upon her. Her plan was to hone her skills and soak up the needed knowledge and experience so that someday she could become a LPN. In 1963 JoAnn enrolled at the Hannah Mullins School of Nursing which was part of the Salem City Hospital. Once again she was not permitted to finish her education. However, it was not all bad news. Her instructor informed JoAnn that she had worked and studied so hard on her own, that she was quite ready to sit for the Ohio LPN exam in Columbus, Ohio! To continue her education at the school of nursing would be a waste of time and money. When JoAnn passed the exam and was granted her LPN license, she was informed that she had only missed one question on the whole exam. The representative from the licensing board was unable to tell her WHICH question that she had missed. She wondered about that mystery the rest of her life.

As a teenager at North Lima Mennonite Church she belonged to a singing trio called The Three JoAnn's. Each member of the trio was named JoAnn, Joanne, or Joanna, respectively They traveled to Mennonite churches in Ohio and Western Pa performing their concerts.

JoAnn worked as a nurse's aide, a LPN, and chef at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. She also owned and managed Vinnies Restaurant on the circle in Deerfield, Ohio. She could do anything that she set her mind to, but her strongest gift was nursing. She was a brilliant intuitive diagnostician. The doctors with whom she worked often consulted her for her feelings and opinions on difficult cases. She was rarely wrong.

The Cleveland Indians is the team that she dearly loved and enjoyed. JoAnn's meals and pies are legendary. She was a skilled and creative crafter who created many decorative and useful items with her crocheting and sewing skills. She also created her own patterns for her creations.

JoAnn's personality was bigger than life in spite of her diminutive stature and she had many more skills, talents and adventures that can be not be told here in this brief missive.

Everyone whose lives she touched will remember her forever.

Visitation Tuesday 3/2/2021 from 10 to 12:30 pm

Funeral service to begin 12:30 PM

Burial at Brooklyn Heights Cemetery

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Arrangements By

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

21369 Center Ridge Road
Fairview Park, OH 44116
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