Mary Joan Neighbarger

April 02, 1928 ‒ August 24, 2014

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Mary Joan “Jo Jo” Neighbarger, age 86, of Kingsview Drive, Howard, Ohio, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at the Emeritus at HillenVale surrounded by her loving family. She was born on April 2, 1928 in Mount Vernon, Ohio to the late Charles and Anna (Kreps) Ansel. Jo was a 1946 graduate of Mount Vernon High School and on August 27, 1948 she married the love of her life Richard E. Neighbarger.

Jo was employed 19 years as an educational aid for Mount Vernon City Schools and upon returning to Mount Vernon in 2000 she served as a volunteer. She was a member of the Gay Street United Methodist Church where she belonged to the Women’s Circle. Jo was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star Chapter #236 and served as an advisor for the Rainbow Girls, Rebekah Lodge #6 IOOF and played an active role with the Mount Vernon Yellow Jacket Boosters Club. She served many years as a Den Mother and Girl Scout leader for her children.

Jo will be remembered as a loving and compassionate wife and mother. She always had a smile on her face and words of encouragement for family and friends. Jo was a cook and seamstress and took great pride in making suits and dresses for her family. Most importantly to Jo was her personal walk with God. She was in continuous service to her Lord and others.

She is survived by her children, R. Thomas (L. Diane) Neighbarger of Cortland, Ohio, Annette Marie “Netter” Neighbarger of Howard, Dan A. (Barbi J.) Neighbarger of Howard, four grandchildren, Heather (Sonny) Kerstiens, Amber (Brian) Bierkortte, Heidi (Michael) Armetta and Stephen (Kristen McGlothin) Neighbarger, three great grandchildren, Jackson Kerstiens, Ethan Armetta, Owen Armetta many nieces and nephews and extended family and friends.

Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, a son, Frederick Herbert Neighbarger, two brothers, Art Ansel and Alan Ansel and a sister, Jean Neighbarger.

Friends may call on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home where a funeral service will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. Rev. Denise Marikis will be officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Jo Jo’s name may be made to the American Heart Association.

To share a memory or leave a condolence, visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Mary Joan “Jo Jo” Neighbarger.

  • Sorry to hear about your loss. She was a great lady who had a positive impact with any staff member or student she met. She always had a smile and words of wisdom. She will be missed but know she lives on in the hearts of those who met her.

    Steve and Laura Short

  • We are so sad to hear of the passing of this outstanding lady. She was always smiling and so helpful and will be missed by all that knew her. Dan and Netter we loved your mom our prayers we be with your family.

  • Netter and Dan, we are sorry to hear the sad news. Your mother was a wonderful lady with a warm smile! She always had a positive attitude and words of encouragement to my family as we entered many sporting events. She will be missed greatly. Scott and Suzanne Dapprich

  • What would we as a family have ever done if we hadn’t found our adopted family of JoJo and Netter!!! Having no family locally we have been blessed and become better people because they entered our lives!! JoJo, we will miss you so much, but as I told you….we are just lucky enough to have one more Angel in Heaven watching over us!!! Tom, Netter, Dan, Diane & Barbi – Thanks for sharing your MOST precious gift with us!!! LOVE YOU ALL
    The Johnson’s

  • Dan & Netter, thank you for sharing your Mom with all of us! We are all better for knowing her and you have been richly blessed by having the honor of calling JoJo your Mother! God Bless you always!

    Rick, Jody, Ryan, Bradley,Austin, Katelyn & Kacie

  • There are people that one crosses paths with in life that leave unforgettable memories. Jojo was such a woman.
    for many years we shared a love of young people at Mount Vernon Middle School. I appreciated her humor, kindness and love of humanity. Peace and love to your family.

  • I am so very sorry to hear about Jojo. She was an amazing woman. I always looked forward to seeing her everyday at MVMS. Hugs to you Netter and Dan along with the rest of your family.

  • What a wonderful woman. I looked forward to seeing Jojo at MVMS as well. Her interesting stories and good advice always a bright spot in my day. She will be so missed. Netter, my sincere sympathy to you and your family.

  • My favorite memory of Jo Jo was when I was making copies at MVMS and she had a beautiful orange sweater on. I commented on how pretty the sweater was. Jo touched my hand and told me that the sweater belonged to her late husband and that SHE made the sweater. She told me that she wore it when she was missing him. She went on to explain that she made a lot of the clothing that her children and husband wore. She smiled so sweetly while telling me this story. I will never forget that smile and the love behind that story. Her memory will live on in the smiles of her children, grandchildren and all of those she met.

  • A lady always knows when it’s time to leave and Jojo was such a lady. Our loss is Richard’s gain.

  • So sorry to hear of Jo’s passing! I first met Joan when I began teaching at MVHS. She was an aide and we hit it off right away. Through the years, I met Netter & Dan and we all became involved in athletics at MVHS. I sure appreciated all the hard work the Neighbargers put in at athletic events! JoJo’s smiling face will be missed!

  • Netter and Dan,
    We are so very sorry for your loss, We so enjoyed getting greeted at all the middle school games with that sweet smile and spunky attitude. Such a precious soul. She will be so missed. Praying for all of you.

  • So sorry for your loss. She was a great woman. Always a smile on her face and kind words. She was always good to both of my kids. She will be missed.

  • Annette – I’m probably the only one who calls you that!

    I remember summer afternoons at your house by the park and the best molasses cookies I have ever had! Your mom was always welcoming. Her warmth and her smile just enveloped you in love, even 40-some years later! I have always admired the way that you made a point of knowing every child’s name. It made them feel special and you got that gift from your mom. I’ll see you on Thursday.


  • To All of Joan’s Family — We all lost a dear lady, when Joan died. She was my babysitter many, many years ago, and we had the pleasure of working with her through the American Heart Association, and always enjoyed our chance meetings over the years. We were so pleased to see her once again at Bob Evans several months ago, and there was that beautiful smile and warm personality. I am sure you realize how special Joan was to so many people, and we all share in your loss. The Ansels were wonderful “Flat Skinners” and now they can be together in Heaven. A beautiful spirit is winging its way to Heaven and there will be a bright star in the sky very soon. Sending you all our deepest sympathy and friendship.

    Sincerely, Susan (Nash) and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss of Mrs. Neighbarger, but especially to her family. I had “Netter” as my gym teacher in middle school and she made me feel instantly comfortable switching from private to public school. She encouraged me to try out for the Volleyball team and I made the team! She was always so funny and encouraging to make gym something that we looked forward to!
    I first met Mrs. Neighbarger when I was in the Middle School Talent Show. She was one tough lady who knew how to keep a room full of 11-14 year-olds quiet! I learned a little more about Mrs. Neighbarger each day of the talent show and really took a liking to her. She helped me hem my pants last minute and I was amazed how fast she read books and knitted! Mrs. Neighbarger you will be missed but never forgotten!

  • my deepest sympathy, love and prayers to all of you!! Your mom/grandma was a wonderful lady and will be missed!! I always enjoyed being with her! Dan and Barbi – I am so sorry especially that you are enduring losing both mothers so close together! You are all in my heart and thoughts!!

  • I first met Joan back in 1976 when I started at MVHS, she was kind and friendly to a newbie. We were all sad when they moved to PA and happy when they came
    back. She was a wonderful lady, my deepest sympathy to her family she left behind, I know you will miss her. Kathryn Williams

  • Dear friends and family,
    Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. I worked many years with Joan at MVHS, and she was wonderful with the kids. It was always a pleasure to work with her. And she was so active an friendly to everyone over the long fruitful life she live. I share in your grief. She will be missed. He loving family is her beautiful legacy.
    My condolences,
    Joyce Skocic

  • Netter and family,
    We are so sorry for the loss of your mother, our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God comfort you in this time of sorrow as only He can do.
    Sam, Bunny & Jillian Vance

  • To: Tom, Diane, and family

    I have fond memories of spending time talking with your mom at Loaves and Fishes. I could tell she truly cared about others, and worried about those who might be in need. May God give you strength through this difficult time. We know she is in Paradise now, but she will be missed by all who knew and loved her, and most especially by her family, who love her so.

    All my love and prayers to you all.
    Linda Allen and Samuel Lanza
    Bazetta Christian Church

  • Dear Netter, I wanted to let you know that I have an away volleyball game tonight and will not be able to make calling hours tonight. I am so torn because I so dearly want to be there for you. JoJo was like a grandma I never had and her spirit and smile was a true blessing to be around. She affected so many lives both young and old. Her heart was so pure and sweet. She did a phenomenal job raising her children because she passed down her love for people and it shines right through you. You have been an inspiration to me and I’m so sorry I’m not there tonight for you. But I hope you know my heart and spirit is there with you and your family. Love you dearly, you and your mom have always been a good friend to me. Thank you! May JoJo rest in peace and her spirit continue to live in and shine through all of us.

  • Dear Netter and Family, I was lucky to have known your mother and enjoyed running into her in the hallways at the High school. If I was having a bad day she always knew how to brighten my day. I always thought you were a great person and my daughter thought you were great and then when I met your mother I knew why you were the way you were because I saw where you come from. She was a terrific lady and will be missed by every person that ever knew her. Now she is with your DAD and is another one of GOD’S angels.

  • To Tom, Diane, and Family:
    I remember, the frist time I met your mom she had wonderful smile and welcoming personality, and over the years it was good to see her from time to time. Remember, all of you have something God can not take, the memories. May God give you the strenght to get through this difficult time and know that she is at peace.

    Prayers to all.

    Paula Cyphert

  • Dear Annette and family, I don’t think I’ve seen you since school days but I wanted to give you my sincere sympathy . Your Mother was always so warm and kind and I enjoyed chatting with her occasionally at the store through the years. She will be missed by all who ever knew her. Take care and God bless you and all your family ! Love , Valerie