Jo Anne Witherspoon

January 31, 1927 ‒ December 07, 2004

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Jo Anne Witherspoon, 77, of Darlington North Road, Bellville, died Tuesday evening December 7, 2004 in Country Meadow Care Center following a long illness.

She was born January 31, 1927 in Columbus to Myron and Mildred (Smith) Hays, and was graduated from Columbus North High School in 1945.

Jo Anne earned her Bachelors degree in Education from The Ohio State University in 1949, and also completed her studies there to earn her Masters degree in Education.

Beginning in 1961 Jo Anne taught first-graders in the Lexington Local School District, first at the Central Elementary building, and then at the Western Elementary building when it opened in 1968, retiring in 1998.

The consistent excellence of the Lexington School District hinged on committed and superior teachers like Jo Anne, who had a passion not just for teaching reading, but for helping children catch the vision for learning through reading.

In 1990 Jo Anne was honored as Ohio Teacher of the Year.

An avid reader herself, she most enjoyed books on American history.

She was a member of United Methodist Church of the Cross, where she was active with children’s and youth programming.

She is survived by her husband William H. Witherspoon, whom she married December 19, 1947; their daughter Charlaine Mayo of Winston Salem, North Carolina; a grandson Colin Mayo of Winston Salem, North Carolina; a granddaughter whom she raised Stephaine Witherspoon of Columbus; and a brother James E. Hays of San Francisco, California.

The family will receive friends Friday, December 10, 2004 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, where the funeral service will be held Saturday at 11 am. The Rev. Denise Marikis will officiate. Burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions to MedCentral Hospital Cancer Care Center may be made at the funeral home.