Longtime Hotchkiss resident Mary Jo Chermak died Oct. 18, 2017, at her home on Rogers Mesa. She was 96.
She was born April 22, 1921, to Joseph and Mary (Matkovich) Pecharich in Crested Butte. She spent her childhood and attended school in Crested Butte, graduating from Crested Butte High School in 1939.
She moved to Los Angeles for a short time to study fashion design, but soon returned to Colorado and attended Western State College in Gunnison, earning both her teaching certificate and bachelor's degree.
On May 22, 1946, she married Clair Chermak in Paonia. They shared 71 years of marriage.
Mrs. Chermak was an elementary school teacher for 38 years, teaching in both Paonia and Hotchkiss. She retired in 1986.
She enjoyed painting, making stained glass, gardening, reading, decorating her home and spending time with her family and pets.
She is survived by her husband, Clair Chermak of Hotchkiss; son, Rick (Cristen) Chermak of Hotchkiss; three daughters, Trish (Paul) Schmucker of Hotchkiss, Linda (Keith) Glaxner of Hotchkiss and Janie (Bob) Chermak of Albuquerque, N.M.; a sister, Helen Sukle of Delta; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Roe Crosby; a brother, Joe Pecharich; a daughter, Betty Howell; and granddaughter, Mary Therese Chermak.
Memorial contributions may be made to North Fork Ambulance Association, PO Box 127, Hotchkiss, CO 81419 or to HopeWest, PO Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.