Josephine Helen Hout, a.k.a “Jo” “Dottie”, age 97, of Merrill, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 12, 2021 at her home in Merrill, with her loving family by her side and under the care of Ministry Hospice. She was born on March 21, 1923 to the late Michael and Hedviga (Getz) Dubravetz in Akron, Ohio. Jo attended and graduated from Kenmore High School in Ohio. She met and fell in love with Bertus O. Hout, and the two lovingly exchanged marriage vows on May 24, 1943 in Grand Island, Nebraska. Sadly, he passed away on June 12, 1987, shortly before their eldest daughter, Linda Lee Harris, passed away in 1988.
When Jo was younger, she enjoyed gardening and working in her flower gardens. She enjoyed traveling not only the country, but internationally as well. Jo met her husband on a double date with friends, and worked as a cook for the military while Bert was in the service, during WWII. She worked in retail in Ohio and was a cook at Merrill High School for 10 years, until her retirement in 1987. After retirement, Jo continued with her love of cooking and baking, and passed that down to her family. She made very unique desserts, such as Kolache and Pizzelle. Jo looked forward to time spent at family gatherings, playing board games and working on puzzles. She would also enjoy a trip or two to the casino and playing cards with friends at the senior center, she was very competitive! Jo loved volunteering and helped at Pine Crest, St. Vincent De Paul’s, Aspirus Hospice and St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill. She is remembered as a woman with a fun sense of humor, having a strong faith in God and always kept busy. After church, she enjoyed special time with her friends having supper together.
Jo is survived by her daughter: Barbara (William) Doering of Merrill, along with her children: Monica (Alan) VanHouten of Minnesota, with their children: Brandon and Rachel; Barbara Jo (Aaron) Rozmenoski of Tennessee, with their children: Caleigh, Danica and Elijah; Deanna (Franklin) Mootz of Merrill, with their children: Franklin and Oliver and Anne(Terrence) Boneske of Athens, WI, with their children: Bianca and Landon; son-in-law: Robert (Cindy) Harris of Arizona, along with Robert & Linda’s children: Christopher (JoAnna) Harris of California, with their children: Patrick, Veronica and Camden; Susan (Vinnie) Roscigno of Ohio, with their children: Auden and Saverio a.k.a. Sam; Matthew (Christina) Harris of Texas, with their daughter: Emmi; and Jennifer (Adrian) Clarke of Texas, with their children: Dylan and Riley, sister: Mary Catherine Kiefer of Florida and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband: Bertus O. Hout, daughter: Linda Lee Harris and siblings: John and Alex Dubravetz, Irene Balca and Hattie Moyer.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Jo will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11am at St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill. Father Maria Vallabhaneni will officiate. Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 from 10am until the time of Mass. Burial at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery will immediately follow Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please direct donations in Jo’s name to the St. Francis Catholic Church.
The family wishes to thank all of Jo’s friends, neighbors, and family for their help in taking care of Jo.
A Celebration of Life for Jo will be held at a later date.
Social distancing and masks will be required at the church. A live stream of the service will begin at 11am and will be located under her obituary on the funeral home website. A recording will be posted in the same location at a later time.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.