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Jo Ellen's Story

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Jo Ellen Jones Hopwood White was born Oct. 15, 1926, in Belvidere, (Franklin County) Tennessee.
She attended Mingo Public Elementary School in Belvidere and Ashcraft Elementary School in Nashville. She graduated from Townsend High School in Winchester, Tennessee in 1944. She attended A&I State College (now Tennessee State University) for one year before moving in 1945 to Akron, Ohio, where she attended evening college at The University of Akron. She was active at Laffer Avenue Church of God in Akron.
She was married to Chaplain Capt. Edward O. White on May 5, 1957. Chaplain White served in the Army for 21 years. He took his bride, Jo Ellen, to live at several army bases, including Kentucky, Germany (where their son David was born), Massachusetts, Texas, and New York (where their daughter Linda was born). They were last stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before they returned to their hometown of Akron, Ohio, after he retired.
While her husband served, Jo Ellen served God as a member of the Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) and taught Bible study classes, wherever they were stationed. When they returned to Akron, Jo Ellen was a member of Coburn Street Church of God and later joined her husband at Macedonia Baptist Church, where Jo Ellen taught Sunday school and worked with the women's ministry.
Jo Ellen also worked at O'Neil's and then was hired by the City of Akron in the Water Department. After winning a wrongful termination lawsuit, she returned to work as a telephone operator for the City of Akron, where she retired. Not one to sit at home, Jo Ellen also worked for Summit County's Area Agency on Aging. Jo Ellen always had a love of learning, taking senior classes at the University of Akron and was a Bible scholar. She also helped care for her aging aunts, Esther and Florence Holley.
In 2002, a year after her husband's death, Jo Ellen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/Dementia and went to live near her son, David and daughter-in-law JoAnn, in Kokomo, Indiana. She became a member of Second Missionary Baptist Church. She lived for nearly 10 years in an assisted living facility before her health declined and she was moved to a nursing home. She lived her final years at Waterford Place in Kokomo, Indiana. The family is grateful for the care of their loved one.
Jo Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Lt. Col. (ret) Edward O. White (1928-2001), D.Div.; her mother, Amanda Hopwood; her aunts, Ethel, Florence, and Esther; uncle, Gilbert Sr.; and her grandparents, William and Jesse Jones.
She leaves behind her son, David (JoAnn); daughter, Linda; grandchildren, Paige, Zachary, and Taylor White, and Ashley (Mike) Holley; first cousins, Esther Joyce Jones, Alliance, Ohio, Gilbert (Brenda) Jones, Jr., Hendersonville, Tennessee; and other family members and friends.
Services for Jo Ellen will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, at Macedonia Baptist Church, 940 McKinley Ave., Akron, OH 44306. Pastor Lorenzo Glenn will officiate. Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery. Friends may visit at the church from 10 a.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association in Jo Ellen White's name. Condolences may be sent to 717 St. Joseph Drive, Kokomo, IN 46901.
Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home is serving the family. 330-535-1543, stewartcalhoun.com.
Published on January 4, 2018
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