Joann Asel - 1963
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Family Pictures - Pictures Charley added - Story from 40th

Biography of Joann Asel Rea, March 9, 2011

The Asel family moved to Columbia from Kansas City when I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.  However, I had spent many, if not all, summers with my maternal grandparents who lived on Westmount Ave. in the house where my mother had grown up.

After high school, I went to the University of Missouri where I graduated in 1967 with a degree in elementary education.  Also in 1967 John Rea and I got married in the Episcopal Church on 9th St. in Columbia.  We had met on a blind date arranged by my mother and his aunt, Betty  Proctor, when we were 16 years old so we have now known each other for 51 years.  Yikes!

From there it was on to Madison, Wisconsin where I taught 4th Grade and John went to graduate school in economics.  After Madison we lived in some very dissimilar parts of the country:  Kansas City for three years; Stillwater, Oklahoma for 13 years; and Potomac, Maryland for 22 years.  The past three years have found us spending our golden years ???????!!!!!!!!!!!! in Chicago, IL.  And why Chicago?  We have one daughter who lives here with her family, our son is in Los Angeles, and our other daughter and her children live in the Netherlands.  So that puts us in the middle between LA and Amsterdam and we can get direct flights to both.  We are also closer to all of our relatives in Missouri and we can and do leave Chicago for part of each winter. Chicago is a fun and dynamic city and we are delighted to be back in the great Midwest.

We have three children:  Jennifer, born in 1970 in Madison, WI;  Anne, born in 1974 in Kansas City, MO;  and David, born in 1978 in Stillwater, OK.  To date, we have been blessed with four grandchildren, three boys and one girl, with Ryan the oldest being 8 years old.

In looking over the 20 questions that Charley prepared, there probably weren't many accomplishments at Hickman High School other than making some great friends.  I didn't make much effort at studying until my senior year so honoraries didn't happen until the last semester of my senior year which didn't even make the CRESSET!  I consider our three wonderful children the major accomplishment of my life.  However, I am also proud of what I have accomplished career-wise.  For the past 35 years I have worked very hard at both painting and selling my original artwork, not an easy task. For more information, visit  (You can click on each photo to enlarge the image and get more specific information about each painting.)  I am still working and have a wonderful studio a mile away from where we live that I share with three sculptors.  Retirement is not in my future as long as I can see and walk and talk.

Life has been good.  John and I have been incredibly blessed.

I look forward to the 50th reunion.


Back row left to right: son-in-law Mike, daughter Anne, son David, daughter Jennifer

Grandchildren: Left to right: Sam, Ryan, Katy, Charlie

More grandchildren! Probably gets boring! Left to right: Charlie, Katy, Ryan, Sam

Our three children: Rare to get our three together as they live so far apart. This is an old photo but I like it.
Left to right: Anne with Ryan on her lap, Jennifer with Katy on her lap, and David.

Added by Charley 2012-08-27 from the Donnie Asel Scrapbook,

Joann I actually remember that dress on the right!






Joann Asel Rea - 2003-09-24

John Rea and Joann Asel Rea have now been married for 36 years and have lived in the Maryland suburbs around Washington DC since l987.  We can't say we have  "three children" anymore as they have all finally become adults.  Jennifer is 32, soon to be 33 and got married last October to Joost Verheggen who is from the Netherlands.  They live in Utrecht, the Netherlands.  Anne, our middle adult, is 29, lives in LA with her husband, Mike Reynaert, and they are expecting our first grandchild this October.  David is 24 and lives in San Diego and is very happy there.  So John and I are situated geographically in the middle of this group.
John is the economist for the mutual fund trade association and I have been trying to sell my original oil paintings now for about 23 years.  I had hoped to have my up-and-coming website with my paintings available by now but it doesn't seem to be happening quickly.

I hope you have a wonderful reunion and I wish I could have made it.  Hope to be there in ten years.

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