Jo-Ann Cornwell

November 14, 1935 ‒ June 14, 2009

Mount Vernon and formerly of Morrow County, Ohio

A sunburn would not stop Jo-Ann Cornwell from having the time of her life at the beach in Fort Pierce, Florida. Just last year, Jo-Ann was able to achieve a lifelong dream of experiencing the ocean. Her hopes were for the ocean to spit out a seashell for her, instead it gave her a coconut.

Surrounded by her family, Jo-Ann, age 73, passed away Sunday afternoon, June 14, 2009, at her home in Mount Vernon.

On November 14, 1935, Jo-Ann was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the daughter of the late Guy William and Mary Elizabeth (Wolfley) Phelps.

Jo-Ann married Albert Lee “Tony” Riley and together they shared over 30 years, raising three children along the way. Tony passed away on August 22, 1983. Later, on June 22, 1989 she was married again to Charles Raymond Cornwell. They shared over 11 years together until his passing on January 3, 2000.

A Morrow County resident for most of her life, Jo-Ann was an active member of the New Testament Baptist Church for many years.

For many years, Jo-Ann worked as a housekeeper for many different businesses. Her true role and calling though was that of a loving homemaker.

A hobbyist at heart, Jo-Ann loved to explore cyberspace. Many hours were spent playing online slots and talking with out of town family and friends. Also, bingo halls were known to call out her name, especially those in Marengo and Deb’s Cedar Cabin in Galion.

With an unending love for her family, Jo-Ann lived to be surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Together, they enjoyed many family outings, her favorite place being Hocking Hills. She enjoyed hiking there, at least until her legs got tired. For her, family reunions were always a time to look forward to. Jo-Ann always provided the ham or chicken and her chocolate pie. She relished in any time she could spend with her friends and family.

Jo-Ann will be dearly missed by her three children: son, Don (Jeanne Miller) Riley of Mount Vernon, and his daughter, Samantha Riley of Marengo; son, James (Dawn) Riley of Cardington, and their children: Alan (Nikki) Riley of Mount Vernon, and Crystal (Jason Arnold) Riley of Caledonia; daughter, Pam (Jason) Levings of Edison, and their children: Lacy, Jason, and Alan Levings all of Edison; four great grandchildren: Nathan and Zachary Riley, Alexis Arnold, and Anthony Moreland; five brothers: Earl Phelps of Elyria, Ohio, Louie (Barb) Phelps of Virginia, Johnny (Sharon) Phelps of Virginia, Dave (Carol) Phelps of Vinton County, Ohio, and Bob (Ruth) Phelps of South Solon, Ohio; four sisters: Delores (Dave) Wyant of Columbus, Helen (Jim) Urban of Newark, Linda (Mark) Mitchell of Mount Vernon, and Sharon Morrow of Mount Vernon; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

In addition to her two husbands and her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Dick Phelps.

Jo-Ann’s family will greet friends from 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 South Main Street, Mount Gilead, and on Thursday from 11 a.m. until the time of services celebrating her life at 1 p.m. with Rev. William Kirk officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery in Chesterville.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Odyssey Hospice Healthcare, 540 Officenter Place, Columbus, Ohio 43230.

For those unable to attend her services, condolences may be expressed to her family by visiting