In Loving Memory of Jo Ann Orsborn

Jo Ann Leonhardt Orsborn passed away on August 29, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was born on October 2, 1936 in Darlington, Pennsylvania to Gladys Davis and Clifford Leonhardt. Jo Ann attended Southwest High School in St. Louis, Missouri, Class of 1954. She lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and St. Louis, Missouri prior to attending Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa graduating in 1958.

Jo Ann met her future husband, John, while attending Grinnell College.  They dated throughout their senior year and then got engaged after they graduated.  John moved to Colorado to teach History and Jo Ann soon followed, living and working in Denver until they were married in June of 1960 in Jo Ann’s hometown of St. Louis, MO.   After their wedding, they settled for good in Colorado Springs, living in the same one-mile radius for their entire marriage.  Upon Jo’s passing, they had been married for 62 years.

Jo Ann worked as an English teacher from 1960 until she gave birth to her first child, her daughter Sally, in 1963.  She then gave birth to her son, John, in 1965.  While she was raising her two children, Jo Ann participated in a variety of civic organizations and causes.  As a proud Democrat and a fierce feminist, she was particularly focused on the political happenings in Colorado Springs, working with the League of Women Voters (a group that focused on the a variety of Democratic causes), Citizen’s Lobby (an organization focused on responsible city development) as well as participating in a number of political campaigns for Democratic candidates throughout the Sixties and Seventies.  In 1975, with her two children well on their way in school, Jo decided to go back to work.  She started part time at the Colorado College bookstore, where she ran the general book section for one year and was then tapped to become the Manager of the bookstore the following year.  She loved her work and developed a close relationship with the faculty, staff and students of the college.  She was also well respected throughout the small college bookstore industry, leading the way in a variety of changes that occurred to the college bookstore industry throughout her time there.  She finally retired, after nearly 20 years as a manager in 1997.  It was at this time that she and John embarked on her second passion (the first being books) which was travel.  Although she had done some travel prior to her retirement, once she had the ability to put 100% of her time and energy into it, she did so with gusto.  Jo and John traveled the world, often returning to countries more than once because she felt that there was always something more to be discovered.  Their travels took them to the likes of Italy, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Egypt, Israel, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Portugal and the Amazon River in Brazil.

Although Jo Ann had some health issues towards the end of her life, she remained a sharp, passionate, dynamic woman who loved her friends and family very much.

Jo Ann is survived by her husband of 62 years, John C. Orsborn, her daughter Sally Orsborn Gorges (Matthew), her son John D. Orsborn (Chris), her sister Sandra Leonhardt Phfistner (Jim), her brother Frank Leonhardt (Carol), her niece Hatty Leonhardt Swart (Nico) and nephew Shanks Leonhardt (Chrissie) as well as grand nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by her beloved beagle, Casey and her “granddogs”Maddie, Max, Samson and Delilah whom she and John often looked after so their children could also go and explore the things that they loved!

On Friday, September 23, 2022 from 4p-7p, at the Knights of Columbus Hall PPLD, you are invited to join the Orsborn/Gorges families for an open house to share memories, conversation and some laughter in remembrance of Jo.  We hope you can come.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Pikes Peak Library District  or DonateLifeAmerica.