Jo Ann Ellis
Jo Ann Mabel Waxmunski Ellis, daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, missionary, teacher, writer, gardener and most importantly, firm believer in the salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ, has passed from this world to the next on April 18, 2018, where there is rejoicing at her homecoming. Her funeral service is Sunday, April 22, 2018, at 4:00 at First Baptist Church in Galveston, Texas.
Born in Virginia on March 2, 1927, to Joseph and Ann Waxmunski, Jo was the oldest of 4 daughters, Dolores (DeWinkler), Blanche (Gosselin), Donna (Fortnash), all of whom preceded her in death. She also had an infant brother, Joseph Edward, who passed away before she was born.
After Jo left home, she attended Union University in Jackson Tennessee, then New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, before heading to Louisiana College in Pineville, where she met her future husband and partner, Curtis. They faithfully served the Lord together for more than fifty years in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Washington. She has been referred to as a superhero without a cape, writing curricula, teaching conferences, serving as a pastor’s wife, missionary, and even camp poet. She continued to serve the Lord after Curtis passed away in 2008.
Avid campers, she and Curtis visited almost all of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, continuing long after most would have chosen to slow down. Their camper was also their ‘home away from home’ as they ministered to various groups across the country. Jo’s green thumb kept fresh and canned food on a plethora of tables, and her appreciation of God’s creation was evident throughout her life as she drew others’ attention to His awesome master designs around us. Her love for missions was a constant thread through her life. She was involved in practical missions while in college, Women’s Missionary Union (in all age groups) at the local and state level, and vocational mission work in the last decades of her life. Her love for God’s Word was also evident. Often times, even with failing eyesight, she would be found reading her Bible. Her goal at age 90 was to read it through one more time. May we all have that love and dedication!
Jo Ellis is survived by her oldest daughter, Elaine Newell (Gary) grandchildren Jake, Paula (David), Gary, Jr. (Nicole), 8 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, daughter Josanne Smathers (Leland – deceased) grandchildren David (Erica), Rachel, Levi (Karen), 4 great grandchildren, son Ray Ellis (Deb), grandchildren Tom (Jessica), Bret (Erika), 4 great grandchildren, son Dan Ellis (Christie), grandchildren Curtis, Asher, Eden, 1 great grandchild on the way. She is also survived by nieces, nephews and many friends.
The family wishes to thank her church family and the staff of the Concord on Broadway. Your love was definitely felt by Jo. Thank you.