After 90 years of living among us, Jo Ann Robinett went to reside with The Lord this past Sunday morning. Born in the autumn of 1931 in Brownsville, Texas, Mrs. Robinett enjoyed a full and rewarding life dedicated to working hard, caring about others, teaching children, worshipping God, and serving her church, plus showing love to her family members and friends.
She moved to New Braunfels with her parents, Lottie Lee and Leslie Ehlers, during her preschool years when her father brought his ability to speak German with local farmers and ranchers to the position of county agent, here. Like her dad, Jo Ann’s UNspoken philosophy of life was a labor of love.
Mrs. Robinett gave everything her all – and enjoyed everyone and every venture that she devoted herself to, including motherhood, her long career as a public school teacher, numerous social, bridge, and dominoes clubs, plus countless gatherings, as well as myriad service duties at St. Paul Lutheran Church and in the community. Whenever met with a task or challenge or opportunity of any kind, anyone could tell that she was on a heartfelt mission.
Although being a public school teacher for nearly three decades was an every-day race of endurance, sweat, and (metaphorical) tears, mostly run in unairconditioned, Texas-hot classrooms, she often expressed to family members, “I should have paid them (the state) for being a teacher.”
Even as a student in her formative years, she faced the ongoing challenge of not hearing well with an attitude of vigorous interest. “I always loved school – learning, just being with everybody, especially in Miss Bell’s private kindergarten class and in Carl Schurz (Elementary). I’ve always looked forward to the next task or activity, no matter where I am in life.” She was especially fond of Mrs. Karbach’s first-grade class, where Jo Ann claimed to have derived a major portion of her passion for teaching younger children throughout her twenty-six years in the field of education.
“Plus I’ve had a blessed life.” One miraculous gift was the luxury of sharing various aspects of her lengthy adulthood with many of her childhood friends, who she cherished since the age of five- and six-years-old.
Known then as Miss Jo Ann Ehlers, she carried her spirit of eager anticipation to New Braunfels High School (7th-12th grades, in those days). Miss Ehlers was a “unicorn” from 1943 to 1949 before being a “longhorn” and an Alpha Delta Pi member at UT Austin from 1949 to 1953, where she earned her BA in Elementary Education and met her future husband, Richard Lee Robinett.
After Jo Ann taught school for one year at Maplewood Elementary in Austin and married Dick Robinett in 1954, the young couple settled in New Braunfels, the town dear to both of their hearts for more than six decades.
Jo Ann and Dick filled their later years not only with serving their church and community, yet also with the thrill of traveling to invigorating National Parks, meaningful events, and breathtaking panoramas in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Mrs. Robinett is survived by the following family members:
Her older son, Bruce Robinett, along with his daughters Hannah Beattie and Michaela Robinett; Bruce is married to Janice Robinett
Her younger son, Scott Robinett, along with his daughters Michelle and Stephanie Robinett; Scott is married to Melinda Robinett
Her sister, Kay Ehlers Andrews, along with her son, Sean Park.
An open-air, closed-casket memorial will be held Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park in New Braunfels. The service will begin at 1:00 p.m.