HULL, JO WELCH JO WELCH HULL COMPLETED HER EARTHLY JOURNEY ON APRIL 20, 2020, AT AGE 88. INURNMENT WILL BE beside her beloved husband and eldest son at Forest Lawn Cemetery. A "Celebration of Life, Love and Peace" Memorial Service will be planned for a future date at West Market St. United Methodist Church. Born in Decatur Ga., Jo was the daughter of Walter O. Welch and Mattie Louise Varnon Welch. She moved with her family to Arlington, Va., in 1937, where she completed her primary and secondary education. Always grateful for the opportunities she had growing up in the Washington area, Jo greatly appreciated the beauty, museums, arts, and historic significance of the nation's capital. After College and graduate study, she returned there to make her home and pursue her professional career until her 1956 marriage to the love of her life, Dr. James E. Hull. A natural "nester," Jo found joy creating an inviting, loving home for her family. Deeply devoted soulmates, Jo and Jim shared 52 years of incredible marriage until Jim's death in 2008. They were best friends and complete partners in their family life, their professions, and in community service. Connected by their faith and core values, they shared many mutual interests including a love of music, the theater and films, a diverse treasure of friends, candlelight dinners and the excitement of ACC basketball. Jo enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends, and their home was also open to hundreds of college students for over 40 years. Jo was a scholarship student at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC. Although working 3 campus jobs, she was elected Director of the Student Mentoring and Counseling program, inducted into Kappa Nu Sigma Honor Society, Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and graduated cum laude. Following graduation, she entered Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in N.Y., pursuing a joint degree in human development and theology. After additional graduate study at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Jo received her Master of Education degree from UNCG in 1978. Committed to education, Jo's professional life combined careers in public schools and interfaith education. She was Director of Education on the staffs of First Baptist Church, Washington, DC; First United Methodist Church, Jackson, Tennessee; and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Greensboro; was a K-3 teacher in the Greensboro public schools and Director of a Childhood Enrichment Center. As an Educational Consultant, she created her own company, Creative Approaches to Teaching, and conducted workshops and seminars for educators nationwide for over 6 years. Believing firmly in reconciliation, Jo, with her husband in 1983, co-founded the Piedmont Interfaith Council, a bridge-building organization working to foster dialogue and understanding within our diverse human family. She and Dr. Hull were chosen recipients of the Cuthbert E. Allen Award by the Ecumenical Institute of Wake Forest University and Belmont Abbey College in 2000, "for their outstanding contribution to interfaith dialogue." Jo led in creating and coordinating the Triad Tapestry Children's Chorus in 1993, and in writing the annual Community-wide Ecumenical Celebrations of Thanksgiving for 32 years. Active participants in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the Hulls continued to work throughout their lives for increased understanding between people of diverse races, ethnicities, and faith traditions and for community goodwill. In 1992, Jo was honored by being selected to receive the Woman of Achievement Award by the Greensboro Commission on the Status of Women. As an active member of West Market St. United Methodist Church since 1966, she served on the Administrative Board, as teacher of both adults and children's classes, as a Communion steward, on the Education Committee, as Chair of the Social Concerns Commission, with Mobile Meals, and regularly made visits to homebound members. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and the O Henry Study Club. She enthusiastically supported the sports and extra-curricular activities of her sons. Jo delighted in being a devoted mother to her sons and loving "Grandma Jo" to her 3 grandchildren and enjoyed sharing news of each of them. She had a special connection with children and was a strong advocate for them and for Early Childhood education. Truly enjoying people, Jo had genuine concern and empathy for others. She greatly valued her wide circle of friends from diverse traditions and national origins, learned much from them, and kept in close touch with some for over 60 years. Many of her own experiences perhaps contributed to her being supportive, ready to listen, and compassionate with others experiencing difficult times. Butterflies and the symbolism of their rebirth and renewal had special meaning for Jo. Especially at times of personal pain, loss, and grief she found the butterfly, emerging from a dark cocoon into the light, a symbol of courage and hope. Growing up in Northern, Va., Jo developed an interest in and appreciation for U. S. history. A patriotic supporter of democratic ideals and values, she treasured the privileges of her American citizenship and took seriously the responsibilities of being politically knowledgeable and of voting in every election. An avid reader and life-long learner, she tried to stay informed about current news events and involved in social justice issues. Pleased when her birthday was coincidentally designated as World Peace Day in 1981, she tried even more intentionally to live her life with loving kindness, integrity, respect for all, and as an advocate of peaceful dialogue. Personal interaction and sharing good conversation with an exchange of ideas and viewpoints was special for Jo. Her love of music ranged from Bach, Mozart, Handel and Gershwin to James Taylor, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Beatles and more. Also enriching her life were good movies, poetry/literature, an active sense of humor, flowers, and enjoying the birds at her birdfeeders. Deep gratitude is extended to Darron Williams for his devoted kindness and superb lawn/garden care since 2001. His years of faithful service and friendship enabled Jo to remain in the Hull's memory-filled home she so loved. Jo Hull was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Alan Walter Hull; her beloved husband, The Rev. Dr. James E. Hull; and sisters, Ann Welch Hoffmann of Long Island, N.Y. and Virginia Welch Johnson of Wilmington, Del. Left to honor her memory are her cherished sons: Timothy Olen Hull and his wife, Mary Kay McDonald of Cary, NC; and Richard James Hull and his wife, Lisa Hull; her grandchildren Whitney Jane Hull, Brandon Welch Hull, and Chase Alan Hull of Broomfield, Colorado; 10 nieces and nephews, 4 great- nieces and 2 great-nephews. The family is deeply grateful for the many expressions of sympathy extended to them. If one wishes to honor Jo, she would ask you read to a child or offer an extra act of kindness to someone. Memorial gifts may be made to the Jo Welch Hull Scholarship Fund at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC; to the Early Childhood Center, W. Market St. United Methodist Church, Greensboro, NC or to the charity of one's choice. Forbis and Dick North Elm Street Chapel is serving the Hull family.
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