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Family, friends mourn sudden death of city worker JoAnn Neubarth

Family members, friends and workers at Hudson City Hall are mourning the unexpected death of JoAnn Neubarth at her home early Tuesday morning, Dec. 29.

"We're a close-knit group, like a family unit up here. She was a member of our family. We will miss her," Liz Moline, administrative assistant for city's building inspector and assessor offices, said Thursday.

Neubarth and Moline worked together for 17 years on the third floor of City Hall, where Neubarth was the receptionist for the offices on the floor.

"She was kind of the voice of third floor - a very nice lady," said Community Development Director Dennis. "She was the first person many people talked to when they walked in the door or called on the telephone."

Darnold said Neubarth had a knack for recognizing people's voices and could identify callers before they told her their name.

"We received a lot of nice compliments in regard to the way she handled phone calls and people walking in the door, so she will be deeply missed," he said.

Neubarth had called to say she wouldn't be coming to work on Monday, Dec. 28, because she was sick.

Her daughter, Julie Fenner of North Hudson, said Neubarth also called her on Monday and asked her to come to her house on Glenna Drive. She said her mother was vomiting.

Fenner said she took Neubarth to the Hudson clinic. The doctor Neubarth saw said she had a viral intestinal illness and wanted to admit her to the hospital for IV therapy, according to Fenner.

Neubarth didn't want to be hospitalized, so the doctor gave her a shot and prescribed medication for her, Fenner said.

Fenner said the medication didn't stop her mother from vomiting, and she tried again Monday evening to talk her into going to the hospital.

Fenner stayed at Neubarth's house Monday night, and found her mother dead when she checked on her in her bed Tuesday morning. Neubarth was 68 years old.

"She was my best friend," Fenner said tearfully when asked if she was close to her mother.

"She never forgot anyone's name," Fenner added. "No matter where we went, she knew somebody or where somebody lived. She always had time to visit with everybody. If anybody needed anything, she was there to help out."

Neubarth grew up in Hammond, the daughter of Clinton and Florence Lewis. She moved to Hudson as a young woman and worked in the business office of the Wisconsin Telephone Co. for 25 years before becoming a city employee in 1992.

Neubarth's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1205 Sixth St., in Hudson.

A visitation is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 1, at O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. There also will be visitation for one hour prior to the funeral at the church.

Neubarth's obituary can be viewed in the Obituaries section of this Web site.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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