Thoughts & Well Wishes

Tricia Courtney | Feb 16, 2021
Wow, I have so many fun and wonderful memories with Majomuay (mj for short), it's hard to know where to start.
First of all, mj I will be expecting you to edit my writing! You are so good at that.

We first met at the Joplin Library  (2002?) where she worked in the reference department, she was always so helpful, patient and kind when I came to her with questions and directions on where to find things. One time she came out from around the desk and took me down the aisles to the exact place to where the book was shelved. Wow, what service!

At that time I worked at The Joplin Globe as an editorial graphic artist. Besides doing all my usual editorial graphic things I was in charge of the Ozark Artists Colony. An artist/art organization website. In 2003 Spiva was looking for a new executive director. When I found out that Jo got the job at Spiva I was very happy because I knew she would be perfect! After a week or so I called Spiva to talk to Jo about meeting me to discuss Spiva joining the Ozark Artists Colony. A couple of days later she came into my office to visit and join the Colony. While we were visiting I knew that Spiva had just hired a gem! Jo was a breath of fresh air for Spiva, smart, kind, classy, witty and fun!

Over the next few years I worked with Jo on multiple projects for Spiva including shooting lots of photos and building a website for Spiva.  We constructed a found object dinosaur (Leonard)  painted fish and dinosaurs on downtown windows and splattered paint all over the parking lot and our shoes! I even got to work on the newsletter and that’s where I experienced Jo’s total hyper-extreme editing detail.  Jo was always a perfectionist, details, details, and more details. She spent hours and hours and hours at Spiva, especially during the week of a new opening. She is a master of juggling multiple tasks at a time and everything, I mean EVERYTHING was going to be perfect, right down to the color of the flowers and the ribbon around the vase that sat on the counter on opening night. She wanted/needed everything to be just right.  I remember the purple wall in the Main Gallery was repainted several times until it became just right shade.

Thank you’s were also a top priority to Jo. Spiva volunteers, sponsors and employees were special to Jo and she
always made sure they were given the respect, praise and admiration they truly deserved.

Even during difficult times Jo could laugh. I remember helping her dig through the ashes from the warehouse fire.
Jo and Don had moved a lot of their precious items that had survived from their house that was hit by the 2011 tornado into the warehouse which burned down two weeks later. She asked me to help her find some tiny teapots that were from a collection of her mother’s. As we dug through the charred remains we got filthy, but we were on a treasure hunt and Jo got so excited when we found the little teapots, some intact and in perfect condition except for the burnt blackness that was fixable with some hot water and soap.

It was heart breaking to see the destruction of so many of their treasures - heirloom quilts, furniture, photographs, toys...memories of their childhood. We found a musical instrument of Jo’s, I think a guitar. I still remember Jo’s reaction. I think she might of said something like “oh darn,” or “oh well, I didn’t have time to play it much lately anyway. “ She laughed, and so I did too, and then we continued our hunt...

Jo is the best of friends, she is always there with a kind word or a smile. Majomuay, you hang in there! Let me know if you need anything. We all love you and cherish you. You have touched our hearts. We love you.

P.S. When you are up to it, let’s have tea and a treasure hunt!

Hugs to both of you.


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Andrew Batcheller | Jan 28, 2021
Jo.  This news took away my breath.  I can count on one hand the amount of people I know who command as much respect, veneration and just plain old love that I feel for you. I will not even consider a world without you in it.  Therefore, theres NO DOUBT You will kick this !  I firmly believe that. I’ll have you at the forefront of my mind until that inevitability is confirmed.  There’s NO WAY I won’t be receiving all the gentle Jo Mueller hugs That you’ll allow in the future. Hugs I treasure more than I’m sure you’ll EVER know. Much love to one of the kindest women I have ever EVER met.   Andrew
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Tricia Courtney | Jan 24, 2021
Majomuay! or MJ. That's her name! Praying for you! Love you! Remembering all the fun times we had together. You are one of the strongest person's I know, you will get through this and be even stronger. Don, is there anything we can do from here in Joplin. Mow you lawn maybe?? 😀 

Thanks for keeping in touch,
Love you.
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