JoNelle Carley Graber died on December 10, 2019, at her home in Albuquerque, NM, at the age of 74. She was born July 4, 1945, in Hays, KS. JoNelle graduated from Hays High School in 1963 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Fort Hays State University in 1967. JoNelle met her husband, Forest Graber, while they were attending Fort Hays State University. They were married in the Hays Presbyterian Church on August 14, 1966.
JoNelle attended graduate school at Fort Hays State, University of Kansas and California State College at Hayward. Having taught for 44 years, including 22 years teaching kindergarten in Chicago, IL, JoNelle retired from teaching in 2011. The Grabers moved from Illinois to Albuquerque, NM in February of 2012, fulfilling a retirement dream of many years. JoNelle was an active member in the life of the Albuquerque Mennonite Church with a passion for her ministry to children. Her hobbies included reading and journaling, music performance, theater productions, photography and travelling to visit State and National Parks. JoNelle has been a member of DAR for many years, and has served as chaplain and corresponding secretary of the Albuquerque Charles Dibrell Chapter.
Mrs. Graber was preceded in death by her parents LeRoy and Opal Carley, sister Evelyn Goodwin and brothers, Clark Carley, Kenneth Carley, and Curtis Carley. She is survived by her devoted husband, Forest Graber, of Albuquerque, NM, her son, Mark Graber and his wife, Dawn, of Yorkville, IL, granddaughter, Carley Rose Graber of DeKalb, IL and grandson, Kyle Kramer and partner, Diianna Harrold, and great grandchildren Kylee and Faith, of Yorkville, IL. Also surviving are a daughter, Shan-Ying Tsai, Irvine, CA, and her children, Jeff Chen of Boston, MA and Lin-Yu Chen of New York City, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at Albuquerque Mennonite Church, 1300 Gerard Blvd., Albuquerque, NM on Sunday, December 22, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. Donations may be made to Friends of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, PO Box 340, 1001 Hwy 1, San Antonio, NM, 87832, or online at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/FofBDA.