Joan King Holtzman

  • Born: August 14, 1925
  • Died: March 5, 2019
  • Location: Austin, Texas

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
Tel. (512) 452-8811

Tribute & Message From The Family

Joan King "JoJo" Holtzman, age 93, was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota on August 14, 1925, and passed away on March 5, 2019. JoJo joined her husband, Wayne, in heaven just 41 days after his passing.

JoJo's love for music and literature became evident at a very early age. While a preschooler, JoJo memorized a number of poems and a first-grade reader called "Wag and Puff", which jump-started her lifelong literary interests. She could recite that book for the rest of her life. When she was ten years old, JoJo was lying on the floor in front of the radio, and she heard a beautiful song, "The Isle of Capri". After it was over, she went to the piano, and just using her "do re mi's", she played the song entirely by ear much to the astonishment of her mother. Her growing up years in Aberdeen were full of music, tap dancing, digging in the garden, ice skating and playing with friends.

When she was 18, JoJo rode the train by herself to Chicago where she enrolled in Northwestern University. JoJo sang with the Women's Glee Club, was elected to Mortar Board and served as president of the YWCA. She was a regular pianist for many sing-a-longs and performed at USO shows. Shortly after graduation, JoJo married Wayne Holtzman. When they both received scholarships from Stanford University, the newlyweds headed for California. JoJo was elected to Pi Lambda Theta and awarded a Master's in Education degree. Her thesis was based on poetry and music for young children.

In 1949, they moved to Austin where Wayne joined the psychology faculty at UT Austin. JoJo became active in PEO, Mortar Board, and International Hospitality Council to name just a few. In 1953, JoJo became a Charter Member of Women's Symphony League of Austin and served as Secretary of the Board from 1968 to just recently. She was elected to Junior League of Austin in 1958 and in 1985 was chosen as the League's first "Volunteer Extraordinaire". JoJo provided songs and musical games for children at the Cerebral Palsy Center and for mental patients at the Austin State Hospital for 16 years.
Since 1983, she has been a member of the Junior League Playhouse Singers performing at nursing centers, Marbridge Farms and other locations.

In 1984, JoJo and friends re-published Symphony for Simple Simon, a book which had songs complete with piano scores, written by JoJo about each instrument. They added a cassette tape featuring JoJo on the piano and local singer, Barbara Amaral on vocals. The American Orchestra League gave its Award of Excellence in recognition of this work. JoJo has also produced several tapes and CDs of her own preschool children's songs including "JoJo's Songs for Growing Up," "Beasts, Veggies, and Sospetigious Things", and "The Fat Rat and This and That." JoJo also has composed twenty-two songs for "Lone Star Lady", a musical about Ma Ferguson.

JoJo always had a certain sparkle about her, no matter the circumstances. She was equally content (usually!) camping with her family or having coffee in the lobby of a 5 Star Hotel. She and Papa traveled the world and made life long friends wherever they were. JoJo was a repository of countless memories, quotes and songs; a living juke box and library like no other. She was especially whimsical and delightful in retelling her childhood memories. JoJo listened intently to each of us imparting wisdom without being imposing. When asked for her advice for a long and happy marriage she would quote 1 Corinthians 16:14 (Old English) "Let all that ye do, be done in love".

JoJo was a wonderful wife and mother as well as a friend to anyone she met. She loved her family, had a sweet disposition and always had a song in her head. Her brownies were legendary. JoJo is survived by sons Wayne (Elsa), Jamie (Mickey), Scott (Denise) and Karl (Leslie) as well as 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. We miss you JoJo!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Austin Symphony Endowment, 1101 Red River, Austin, Texas 78701 or online at or Friends of Muny Fund c/o Austin Community Foundation, 4315 Guadalupe St. Suite 300, Austin, TX 78751.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Weed-Corley-Fish 3125 North Lamar Blvd. Austin, Texas.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Joan, with her beautiful smile and beautiful music always made our Austin Pan American Round Table meetings so joyful. My condolences to her family, especially Wayne, who often joined his mother in the music making.

Gloria Mata Pennington

Posted by Gloria Mata Pennington - Austin, TX   March 21, 2019

What a great lady! Such a fun and friendly talent - did she ever meet a stranger? Blessed to have known both Wayne and her, especially JoJo through WSL. Angels have welcomed her with cheers and singing.

Posted by Cindy (Sumner) Stone - AUSTIN, TX - Family Friend   March 20, 2019

Our sincere condolences to the Holtzman family in the loss of your dear love one. Our prayers are as yours, that God provide his care and comfort you each day.
Psalms 145:18,19

Posted by Your neighbor.. - TX   March 14, 2019

You will always live in our hearts and prayers.

Posted by Annie Horne - NC   March 14, 2019

Dear Jamie,
I'm so very sorry to read about your mom's passing and so soon after your dad's. That's very hard to bear, and I'm sorry that you and your family have to go through this. Her obituary was wonderful, I had heard that she was very special, and I wish I'd known her. I was reminded about how kind you were to me when my own dad died very shortly after I began working at The Austin History Center back in the late 1980s. I think my first memory of hearing about her was from you, and I'm so very sorry for your loss.
With affection, Nancy Busbey

Posted by Nancy Busbey Busbey - Austin, TX - Family Friend   March 13, 2019

Our sincere condolences to the Holtzman family in the loss of your dear love one. Our prayers are as yours, that God provide his care and comfort you each day.
Psalms 145:18,19

Posted by Your neighbor.. - TX   March 13, 2019


Scott and sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom, Mrs. Jojo Holtzman. God has rewarded her with her rightful place in heaven next to him and her beloved husband. I know it seems so soon after your father passing but know that heaven's choir has received a beautiful songbird and musician.

You have shared stories with us, over the years, about your parents and growing up which makes me wish I had gotten to know and meet them personally. I know your family is mourning the loss of this beautiful spirit but remember what a wonderful life she led and an amazing family she helped to create.

I would say to you and your brothers Job well done! You all made sure they were well cared for and a continued presence, I'm sure they both were immensely proud. Memories your family will share, of your beloved Jojo, will make certain that her spirit is always nearby. Keep remembering.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." --Matthew 5:4

Posted by Marsha White - Garland, TX - Friend   March 12, 2019

Our thoughts are with you. Hope you find peace, knowing your parents are together watching over the family. God's blessings be with all, Synthia Hutchens

Posted by Synthia Hutchens - Round Rock, TX - Family Friend   March 12, 2019

I'm thinking about how appropriate the last Symphony was. The Requiem for the Living. I know you weren't there but think this would have been your choice. You are at peace and with your beloved.
I feel that you would want your family and friends to also be at peace and celebrate where you are and those who now surround you.
Dear Family,
I've been lucky enough to have many wonderful role models and I count JoJo as one of them. You all had the best. Thank you for sharing her.
Karen Leeke

Posted by Karen Leeke - Austin   March 12, 2019

Sweet "JoJo", who was one of the kindest most dedicated to the joys of music and countless compositions for WSL endeavors. You always lit up the room with your beautiful smile. You needed to be with your love, Wayne. You will be missed very much, but never to be forgotten. Carol Ann

Posted by A friend   March 11, 2019

Loved all our musical endeavors over the years for P.E.O.. Working with JoJo was always a delight.Also as couples we have happy memories attending the "pops" concerts at the Holtzman table.Lovingly,Bart & Linda

Posted by Linda Lewis - Bastrop, TX   March 11, 2019

So sorry to hear of this fine woman's passing. Austin benefited from her presence and her generosity for so many years. She was a tower of strength for musical education in our town. Condolences.

Posted by Forrest Preece - Austin, TX   March 10, 2019

Jamie. I remember meeting your parents a long long time ago...given the family they started with you and your brothers and the families you all have....very rich indeed. Bucky and Pam

Posted by Bucky & Pam Couch - SAN marcos, TX - Friend   March 10, 2019

Family Album