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Jo Ann Leverette

April 26, 1947 March 9, 2015
Jo Ann Leverette
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Obituary for Jo Ann Leverette

JoAnn Leverette, born April 26, 1947, to Ruth McAllister Leverette and Willie Frank Leverette, Jr., passed away on March 9, 2015, after a long illness. She was the granddaughter of the late Kathleen Johns Leverette and Willie Frank Leverette, Sr. and
O. K McAllister, Sr. and Lille Williams McAllister. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Young, originally of Longview, Texas, and by her last husband, Gale Hightower of Eatonton, Georgia.
She will be greatly missed by her family, including her children: J. Todd Young (Belinda), Adrian Eldridge (Pete), and Gale Hightower and their children: J. T. Young, Brandon Young, Ashley Young, Matthew Eldridge, Marek Eldridge, Jennifer Hightower, Hannah Hightower and William Hightower. Her passing is mourned by her sister Kay L. Stevens (Victor) and her brothers, W. Frank Leverette, Jr. (Janice) and Ben T. Leverette (Cherry Patton), as well as by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
JoAnn graduated from Putnam County High School in 1965 and had recently helped with planning the 50th high school reunion coming up in June. She was always interested in furthering her education and took classes at Georgia State University in Atlanta, the University of Texas at Tyler, and Georgia College at Milledgeville. She never stopped learning. She was a voracious reader, reading widely and in-depth. After graduating from PCHS, she moved to Atlanta where she worked in various administrative positions over the years. She also made many friends who remained a vital part of her life to the end.
In the 1980s, JoAnn and her husband, James Young, moved from Atlanta to Longview, Texas, to be closer to his family. While employed by Eastman Kodak, she was a pioneer in broadening the employment opportunities available to women at that company. She continued her work for equal rights for women through active participation in the National Organization for Women (NOW), a multi-issue association that defends and supports women’s rights.
JoAnn loved to have fun. She excelled at games and looked forward to her regular bridge games. She was a real animal person, raising and loving numerous pets over the years. Her last cat has been adopted by a dear friend. JoAnn was a dedicated gardener, growing her own vegetables (plus enough to share). Cooking and entertaining were among her passions. She invited people over frequently. Even in failing health, she was always the hostess for the family gatherings.
Another passion was travel. She was always ready for a trip, both in the U.S. and abroad. She spent time in England, Scotland, Canada, Mexico, and Belize. She traveled extensively in the Southeast and in the Western U.S. She particularly enjoyed Colorado, the North Georgia Mountains, and Alaska.
Unfortunately, heart disease and its related health issues were a constant part of her life from the initial diagnosis in 1987 in Texas. At that time, doctors told her she would likely not live to 1990, but Jo persevered. She considered her long, often painful and debilitating, illness, to be an inconvenience, rather than a reason to miss out on anything. Her bravery and positive outlook, in addition to the love and care of family and friends, led to many more years of life. She and James moved back to Eatonton in 1995, renewing old friendships and making new ones.
She received a heart transplant at Emory in June 2002, which gave her a new lease on life. The transplant was put to good use. She pursued her belief that life was to be lived, and she went about it with great enthusiasm. Even when complications set in and her health declined further, she continued to find joy in living. Every day, she got out of bed and dressed in anticipation of what wonderful things the day would bring. She even fell in love again, marrying Gale Hightower in 2013.
JoAnn loved her family and friends and they loved her. She maintained many friendships from childhood and was eager to meet and include new people in her circle. She was always available to those who needed her help. She was a positive life force and her passing leaves giant holes in the hearts of those who loved her. To quote her sister, “JoAnn taught us all how to live.”
A memorial service celebrating JoAnn’s life will be held a 2:00pm Wednesday afternoon, March 11, 2015, at First Baptist Church in Eatonton, Georgia. Visitation will be from 1:00pm to 2:00pm, prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests you consider a donation in JoAnn’s memory to Skipper Hudson Fund (transplant patient)
P.O. Box 4250, Eatonton, Ga. 31024 or First Baptist Church, Eatonton, Ga.
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Previous Events

Visitation

Wednesday

11

Mar

1:00 PM 3/11/2015 1:00:00 PM - 2:00 PM 3/11/2015 2:00:00 PM
First Baptist Church - Eatonton

115 N. Madison Ave.
Eatonton, GA 31024

First Baptist Church - Eatonton
115 N. Madison Ave. Eatonton 31024 GA
United States

Memorial Service

Wednesday

11

Mar

2:00 PM 3/11/2015 2:00:00 PM
First Baptist Church - Eatonton

115 N. Madison Ave.
Eatonton, GA 31024

First Baptist Church - Eatonton
115 N. Madison Ave. Eatonton 31024 GA
United States
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