Remembering Jo Ann Washburn

From Susan M. Vilardo, Executive Director, Literacy Council – “Jo Ann was a huge advocate for The Literacy Council. There are many adults who will be able to read these words because of Jo Ann’s tireless efforts tutoring individuals with their reading and writing skills. Jo Ann believed that everyone deserved the right to reach his or her full potential. Jo Ann had an infectious enthusiasm for learning and a deep passion for giving back. She also had a huge weakness for collecting dolls and was NOT to be outbid at the council’s auctions and spelling bee fund raisers if a Raggedy Ann was in sight. We extend our deepest sympathy to her husband Lew who has lost his dearest friend and “teaching partner” of many, many years. May you rest in Peace Jo Ann. Get ready heaven, reading improvement classes start promptly!”

JoAnnWashburnJo Ann Washburn died peacefully on December 24, 2015. Jo Ann was born in Saginaw Michigan January 25, 1926, the daughter of Bill and Mary Cox.  A longtime resident of Terrace Park, Jo Ann is survived by her husband of over 59 years, Lewis Washburn; her children Brand (Joanna) Washburn of Goshen, OH., Todd (Mary Rita) Washburn of Cincinnati, OH., and Amy (Steve) Moenning of Fort Myers, FL.  She leaves behind eight grandchildren; David (Sharon), Daniel (April), Joseph (Sara), Sammy and Will Washburn, Anne, Emily and Melanie Moenning, and four great-grandchildren.  Jo Ann was preceded in death by her brother Jim (Shirley) Cox of Indianapolis, and by her beloved grandson Michael Washburn.   Jo Ann was a graduate of Miami University, and earned her Master’s in Montessori Education from Xavier University.  Her career began as a commercial artist, but her love for children steered her toward education.  Many were touched by her work as an educator, as Jo Ann established several Head Start Programs for preschoolers in the 1970s, and later was instrumental in creating the early childhood development program during her long career at Live Oaks Vocational School.  Her work as an educator continued after she retired from teaching, as Jo Ann and Lew continued into their 80s teaching English as a Second Language at Scarlet Oaks.  Hers is a legacy of volunteerism:  Jo Ann was a founding member of Inter Parish Ministry, a swim instructor at the Stepping Stones Center, a Den Mother for Troup 286 in Terrace Park, a member of the Terrace Park Volunteer Life Squad, and a volunteer into her last decade with the Literacy Council.  A member at Armstrong Chapel, Jo Ann was active in the choir, the Women’s Network, and Interfaith Hospitality Network.  After retirement Jo Ann could be found with an Appalachian lap dulcimer, bringing joy to many through music as a member of the Cincinnati Dulcimer Society.  Memorial Service at Courtyard at Seasons Community Room on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 12:30 PM. The family asks that memorials be directed to Inter Parish Ministry, 3509 DeBolt Road, Cincinnati, OH  45244. Condolences at