JOHANNA GUDAS

Obituary of JOHANNA C. GUDAS

Johanna Christina Gudas October 25, 1923 – March 1, 2020 WINAMAC, IND. — Johanna Christina Gudas, 96, of Winamac, Ind., passed away on March 1, 2020, at Hickory Creek Healthcare in Winamac. She was born Oct. 25, 1923, in Foley, Ala., to Joseph and Antonia Arndt Gudas, who preceded her in death. Johanna carried many affectionate nicknames, including “Jan,” “JoAnn” and “Jo-Jo.” Johanna was the oldest child in a large family. Her father had emigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania in 1910. He met Antonia, whose parents emigrated from Lithuania although she was born in the U.S., through a pen pal service. Her father’s stories about the Baltic States peaked her interest to travel there. Johanna always treasured her Lithuanian heritage, spoke the language fluently, and enjoyed traveling in her homeland country and meeting relatives. In her childhood, Johanna lived in Foley, Ala., Chicago, Monterey, Ind., and Winamac. She graduated from Winamac High School in 1941 and then moved to Chicago with friends. She worked as a waitress and in the collections departments for Spiegel, Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck, & Co. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Northwestern University and then landed her career position. On her first day of work in the subscriptions department at the American Roofer and Building Improvement Contractor Magazine, Johanna accidentally spilled coffee on her boss’ lap. Nevertheless, she went on to earn promotions to advertising manager, editor and eventually, owner. She attended many conferences and conventions where she handled setting up and managing the booths for the Magazine. Johanna worked at the magazine for 27 years and developed lifelong friendships with her employer and his family and her many coworkers. Johanna also purchased the Mutual Letter Service, a print shop located next door to the magazine office and recruited her sister, Edwina, to run the shop. She also became a licensed travel agent, managing many trips for roofing and siding contractors to travel internationally to learn new techniques. An avid traveler herself, she visited numerous countries for business and for leisure including England, Ireland, France, Yugoslavia, Israel, Switzerland, Greece, Poland, Russia, Scotland and, of course, Lithuania. Her adventurous personality allowed her to meet the King of Sweden when he traveled to the U.S., attend the World’s Fair, dance with WWII soldiers on leave at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and sit in press box seats at a National Lithuanian Dance Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania. Lithuania, at that time, was under Soviet occupation and free travel in the country was very difficult. After closing the magazine, she had a new job working for 15 years at The Independent Order of Foresters (IOF) successfully selling stocks, bonds, investments, and services. She was also a member of the American Legion for many years volunteering to collect donations by selling poppies and other worthwhile activities. Johanna retired to Winamac and even though legally blind and hard of hearing in 2007-2017 she helped launch the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group at Pulaski County Human Services in Winamac. She was active in getting speakers, in handling meetings, working with libraries and the state of Indiana, and helping others who were visually impaired get needed equipment inexpensively. She enjoyed traveling, flower and vegetable gardening, listening to nonfiction books, visiting with family and friends, and sewing. She is survived by three sisters, Mildred Ellen Redweik, of Kewanna, Edwina Marian Martin, of Winamac, and Mary Margaret (James) Perry, of Piqua, Ohio; one brother, Edmund Eugene (Patricia) Gudas, of Kewanna; one sister-in-law, Erica Gudas, of Winamac; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers, Algird Joseph Gudas, Joseph Laurence Gudas, Frankie Gudas (stillborn) and Johnny Gudas (stillborn); and numerous sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 4-8 PM EST Friday, March 6, 2020 at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN. Funeral Services will be held at 11 AM EST Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN. Burial will follow at Winamac Cemetery in Winamac, IN. Memorial contributions may be made to Pulaski County Human Services for the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group. Arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary in Winamac, IN. Online condolences may be offered in the guestbook at frainmortuary.com.
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Friday
6
March

Visitation

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, March 6, 2020
Frain Mortuary
305 East Main Street
Winamac, Indiana, United States
574-946-3222
All Times Listed Are Eastern
Saturday
7
March

Funeral Services

11:00 am
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Frain Mortuary
305 East Main Street
Winamac, Indiana, United States
574-946-3222

Burial

Winamac Cemetery
West Main Street
Winamac, Indiana, United States