Jo Anne Thomas Eckelman joined her beloved husband, Max in eternal paradise on Sunday, December 9th, 2018 with her loving daughters by her side. Jo Anne was born September 3, 1932 to W.A. Thomas and Mary Ellen Rominger Thomas.
She grew up in Seymour, Indiana where she met the love of her life, Max H. Eckelman. She graduated from Seymour High School in 1950. She then attended William Woods College and graduated from Indiana University in 1954 with her degree in Early Childhood Education. While at IU she became a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, from which she had treasured memories and stories. After college she moved to Chicago for a year but eventually found her way back to Seymour and Max. They married December 29, 1957 after an 11- year courtship.
Understanding the importance of education, she encouraged Max to complete his degree at IU where she taught school and put him through college.
Surviving Jo Anne are her devoted daughters Mary Eckelman Settlemyre and her husband, Wes, and Sally Eckelman Green of Charlotte. Jo Anne, “Jojo” adored and was immensely proud of her grandchildren, Anne Settlemyre, Abby Settlemyre and Luis Chavez and the feeling was mutual. Jo Anne is also survived by her sister-in law Jane Eckelman Adams and her husband, Alton of Hilton Head, SC, brother-in-law Roger Dailey of Brownstown, IN and many dearly loved nieces and nephews, Joe Eckelman of Sarasota, FL , Lynn Eckelman Fleetwood of Seymour , Sara Dailey Stuckwisch of Brownstown, Josh Dailey of Seymour, Becky Dailey Stevens of Austin, Chris Adams of Charlotte, NC, Melanie Adams of Keene, NH, Bill Steinwedel of Floyd Knobs, Jeff Steinwedel of Peachtree City, GA, Tim Steinwedel of Norcross, GA, Bob Florey, San Diego, CA, and Tom Florey of Noblesville, IN and many great-nieces and nephews who affectionately called her Aunt Jody, Aunt Jojo or Aunt Gorgeous. She is also survived by extended family Tamara Ganchozo, JJ, Cindy and Brenda. She was predeceased by her parents, sisters Mary Florey and Bebe Steinwedel, brother, Charles Thomas and son-in-law Ron Green.
Jo Anne taught school for many years until she and Max moved to Columbus, OH where she had the best job of her life, and the one in which she excelled, as mother to Mary and Sally. Throughout the years she was a substitute teacher even after they moved to Charlotte, NC in 1974. Her wonderful personality and sense of humor landed her a position at the law firm Fleming, Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson. After several years she was lured away to work in Sales and Marketing for Lucas Travel Agency and later asked to become the director of the newly formed Lucas Travel School. In 1985 Max’s job took them to Fort Worth, TX, where Jo Anne had her most exciting position in Marketing at Caravan of Dreams, a performing arts center where she was able to meet and see many great musicians.
They then moved to 1992 to Myrtle Beach, SC in 1992. Jo Anne was hired and quickly promoted to Concierge at Kingston Plantation Resort. Every position she held, she was adored by her coworkers and clients. She always made people feel comfortable, appreciated, and cared about. Her quick wit and sense of humor were unmatched. In 2005, they found their way back to Charlotte to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren, a move that was blessing to all of them.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The South Meck High School Foundation 8900 Park Road Charlotte, NC 28210 (www.southmeckfoundation.org) or Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region 7845 Little Ave. Charlotte, NC 28226.
A service to honor Jo Anne’s beautiful life will be held Saturday, December 15th, 2018 at 11:30 am with a visitation at 11:00 am at Christ Lutheran Church – Christ Chapel 4519 Providence Rd. Charlotte, NC 28226.