Jo Lynn Kistner

1936 - 2021


May 3, 2021 - 8:04 AM

Jo Lynn (Borgna) Kistner, age 84, of Topeka, passed away April 29, 2021, at home surrounded by her family.

Jo Lynn was born on Nov. 22, 1936, in Halstead, to Frank and Mary (Brisbin) Borgna. As the daughter of a school principal, she moved a few times throughout her childhood. Jo Lynn attended elementary school in Altamont, middle school in LeRoy and she graduated from Waverly High School in 1954. She attended Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, was a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority and was excited to always be the first person in line to enroll each semester. Jo Lynn graduated from college in 1957 and was very proud of completing her Bachelor of Science in Education in just three years.

Jo Lynn married Russell Kistner on July 21, 1957. They made their home in Waverly and her first teaching position was in first grade at Waverly Elementary. She then taught grades first-eighth in a one-room schoolhouse in Amiot. After teaching three years at Amiot, she stayed at home and raised three daughters, Mary Jo, Paula and Debra. She was a substitute teacher for many years in the Waverly, Lebo, Melvern and Williamsburg school districts and “Mama Jo” was a favorite of the students for always sharing snacks and gum from her purse. In fact, just about anything anyone ever needed, she would have it in her purse! She loved wearing jewelry, especially her gold hoop earrings. While living in Waverly, she kept a list of 126 ladies who had their ears pierced at her kitchen table the old fashioned way: with two ice cubes and a needle. Jo Lynn moved to Iola in 1992 and cared for her father and grandchildren. Her final move was to Topeka in 2018.

Jo Lynn loved to read, attend auctions and collect antiques. She was an avid sports fan, cheering loudly throughout the years for the Waverly Bulldogs, Iola Mustangs, Hayden Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks, and the Kansas City Chiefs. She was a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Topeka.

Jo Lynn was preceded in death by her parents; and is survived by her brother, Mac Borgna, and his wife Sally, Owasso, Okla.; her three daughters, Mary Jo Siebenmorgen and her husband Bruce, Colony, Paula Swayze and her husband Ryan, Freedom, Okla., and Debbie Otting and her husband Eric, Topeka. She was called “Nanny” by her six grandchildren, Halee Miller, Morgan Dieker and her fiance Erik Karmann, Andy Otting, Drake Dieker, Taylor Otting, Joseph Otting; and her great-granddaughter, Sydnee Wilson.

A visitation will take place at 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Monday, May 3, 2021, at the Jones Funeral Home, 801 Garrettson St., Burlington. Jo Lynn requested no flowers; and memorial contributions can be made to the Waverly Elementary School Library and/or Hayden Catholic High School and can be sent in care of Jones Funeral Home, PO Box 277, Burlington, Kansas 66839.


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