Joan's Story

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Joan "Jo" Rundio, 75, of Traverse City, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. Jo was born in Dearborn to Joe and Donna (Sells) Peters on March 17, 1941.
After graduating high school in Benton Harbor she attended Bronson School of Nursing in Kalamazoo.
Intent on escaping Michigan winters, she and several classmates took jobs in Honolulu, Hawaii, after graduation. It was there that she met Florian "Pug" Rundio, with whom she shared a love affair for the rest of her life. They married on Sept. 8, 1971, embarking on 45 years of companionship and adventure. Twin sons, Jeff and Dave arrived late in 1972, joining Jo, Pug and their beloved German Shepherd, Thunder. Numerous moves followed, with Jo always blossoming where planted. Ultimately, deepest roots took place among the friendships and the natural beauty of Traverse City.
Jo's career in nursing included positions in the emergency room, private practice, schools and public health. She continued her education while raising her two young sons, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands and then a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Alabama. After an internship in Troy Jo joined the staff in Traverse City, rising to the position of assistant city manager.
Jo's guiding principles of compassion, social tolerance and justice led to her life-long activism. She was a strong and dedicated feminist, an organizer for the National Organization for Women, committed to the Equal Rights Amendment and a member of various local women's groups. Jo lived to see the rewards of her efforts in the opportunities open to her granddaughters. Her courage and strength helped inspire their confidence and dreams.
Above all else, Jo valued family and friends. She cherished and nurtured those relationships with endless dedication and love. Most recently, Jo derived great joy and pleasure from participating as a volunteer in Munson Healthcare's Breast Cancer Navigator Program.
Jo is survived by her husband, Pug; sons, Jeff (Jen) Rundio, of Traverse City, and Dave (Meg) Rundio, of Santa Cruz, California; granddaughters, Maya, Katie and Lucy; her parents, Joe and Donna Peters, of Holland; her brothers, Bill (Christine) Peters and Jim (Nanette) Peters, both of Grand Rapids; furry family members, Hunter, Maisy, Sunny, Charming and Cyd; and many other family members and friends.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
In lieu of donations, Jo's family requests you give of yourself, your time, love and energy, to those you love and that in which you believe.
Published on March 19, 2017
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