Johanna D. Ham

johanna ham


Johanna Dorothy Kroonenberg and her twin sister, Dorothy Johanna, were born to Johannes and Dorathea July 16, 1928.  When Johanna was 3, her father moved from Minnesota to Denver with the family of 7 girls and 1 boy after the death of their mother.  In Denver they were closer to other family members, and her father was part of the family business, Kroonenberg Lumber on South Broadway.  Their home church was First Christian Reformed Church.  Church was an important part of their lives, and Johanna met her husband Alexander Thomas Ham at a hymn sing at the church.  They married in 1950, and had 4 children by 1958.  Johanna stayed busy raising those children and being a support for Alex who frequently suffered from depression.

She still managed to help others as much as possible.  She and another lady from the church helped with housecleaning for many people in the South Denver area.  She also helped her neighbors, most notably Catherine Hurlbutt, "the bird lady of Denver".  She first helped take care of Catherine's mother so that Catherine could work, but quickly the work also involved caring for birds, not only feeding them, but teaching many of them to talk.  Picklepus, the cockatoo, loved to sit on her shoulder and whisper in her ear "Come on, let's dance" as he bobbed up and down.  Edgar, the Raven, who did actually say "Nevermore", would bat his eyes at her and lower his beak below a claw so she could scratch his head.  He allowed no one else that privilege.  Many baby birds survived because of Johanna's tender loving feedings.  Catherine had injured birds in a cage in the backyard, as well as ducks, geese, chickens, you name it, roaming in the backyard, and Johanna helped feed all of them!

Johanna's home also showed her love of animals.  The family usually had a dog, but she also welcomed hamsters, gerbils, birds, and even cats which her daughter Karen would often bring home with her from Kansas City, where she taught school for 30 years.  At Julia Temple where she resided the past 11 months she was a favorite for the therapy dogs and also a therapy cat.  They would go to her room first because she always kept some treats by her bedside, and sometimes the animals even stayed with her for a bit while their owners attended to other business.

Johanna loved people, and other residents at Julia Temple could often be found in her room.  She loved the CNA, RN, and other staff greatly, and she had so much fun joking around with them.  She also loved her hospice staff from Suncrest Hospice, who daily helped attend to her needs.

Johanna loved her LORD and her church family, who surrounded her the past 11 months with prayers, tender loving care, and support.

Johanna was preceded in death by her husband, Alex, and two sons, Marv and Jim.  She is survived by her children Joal and Karen, her daughter-in-law Brenda, her only grandchild Jamie, one sister Jennie (93) in Wisconsin, and many nieces and nephews.

After her experiences of the past 11 months, the family suggests memorial donations be made to Julia Temple Healthcare Center or Suncrest Hospice.

Visitation will be at the mortuary Tuesday, May 10, 5-7 PM, and the memorial service will be at First Christian Reformed Church, Wednesday, May 11, at 11 AM.

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  1. Rest in peace Auntie Hanna. You will be missed.

    Our sincere condolences.

    Jason, Jaden, and Kai

  2. Jo was simply a delightful person. Full of both warmth and humor, and with a heart that always focused on how she could help others. I praise God for Jo and her steadfast faith. She often spoke of Jesus as her fortress and refuge and it was clear these were not merely words, but were a source of strength and comfort. Karen and Joal, our family continues to pray for you. May God, our Refuge, grant you peace.

  3. Our condolences to you Karen and Joel. Jo was a very courageous and loving lady. Will always remember her kind smile.
    Prayers to the family at this time of sadness.

  4. Aunt Johanna you will be missed. In thanks thinking of all the time you spent on my care as I was growing up. But our temporal earthly loss is your wonderful gain in being able to see Jesus face to face. Praise be to God.

  5. Thinking of you all as you mourn the loss of your mom. You're in my heart!
    Claire Froehlich

  6. I remember when I was a little girl before we moved from Denver to Grand Rapids, Michigan. You were always lots of fun. You and your family would come to Michigan and stay with us for a while. Those were good days. You are now with your family in Heaven. Rest in Peace.

  7. Rest in peace you sweet lady. it was a delight getting to know you and your wonderful family. Be at peace.

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