Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory that no one can steal. We lost our dear Mom, Jo Anne Blackwelder Davis, 88, of Pleasant Garden, NC, Sunday, January 5, 2020. Jo Anne was born December 28, 1931, in Lexington, NC, to William Smoot and Annabel (Miller) Blackwelder. She grew up in Salisbury and Lexington and graduated from Lexington High School. Jo Anne became a pediatric nurse after graduating from Rowan Nursing School. She married Wayne Davis in 1953 and they were inseparable until his death. She was a devoted wife, mother and active volunteer; especially with her local community and the American Red Cross. In an age of social justice, she was a champion of causes and could be found helping the less fortunate. If something needed doing in the community, you could often find Jo Anne and Wayne, together, "getting it done." Jo Anne successfully lobbied and gained financial support from the state of North Carolina to establish the first public kindergarten in the basement of her home in August 1961. The next year the kindergarten moved to Pleasant Garden Elementary School. She also successfully lobbied for a caution light at the school. She organized an annual spring Pleasant Garden Horse Show Parade with her friend, Jeanette "Charlie" Falconer to raise support for the local community center. Then, Jo Anne and Wayne worked tirelessly with their friends to run the horse show. Jo Anne had a gift of hospitality and never met a stranger. Her home became a magnet for church and community social events. In her 40s, she discovered tennis and competed locally. Her passion for tennis burned bright for many years. Jo Anne also loved her family; especially her 15 grandchildren who annually attended "Maw Maw and Paw Paw's" camp at their home. Jo Anne and Wayne also hosted family reunions at their Bel Air Springs Mountain home. Last, but certainly not least, Jo Anne loved her church family where she was a beloved member at Pleasant Garden United Methodist Church since 1960. A celebration of her life will be there at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 18. The family will receive guests in the Fellowship Hall following the service. Jo Anne was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 60 years, Wayne, and her sister, Betty Wilson. She is survived by her son Chris, and wife, Robbie; her daughter Anna Gleaves and husband, Chuck; her daughter Kim Winslow; her son Brad, and wife Lynn. Additionally, Jo Anne is survived by 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren including: Michael Davis and wife, Carrie (Evelyn, Conrad, Jacqueline); Preston Davis and wife, Dorsett (Jordan, Christopher, Alexander). Kristy and Lenny Arnold (Casen, Maddie, Dane, Marley); Ben Bishop and wife, Jeanine (Leo); Elizabeth Guth and husband, Jared (Georgia, Camille); Brad Bishop, Jane Gleaves, Taylor Gleaves. Beau Winslow; William Winslow and wife, Casey (Rowan, Drew); Rachel Whitehead and husband, Matthew (Penny, Olivia); Alexander Winslow. Derek Stone (Marissa, Ashley); Kyle Davis and wife, Allysen (Elsie); Cori Davis. The family is grateful to Jo Anne's caregivers from Visiting Angels, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, her church family and neighborhood friends who allowed her to stay home long after dementia and heart disease slowed her down. We will never forget you. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pleasant Garden United Methodist Church, 4834 Pleasant Garden Rd., Pleasant Garden, NC 27313. Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel is assisting the Davis family arrangements. Online condolences may be shared by visiting www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.
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