Annie "Jo" Simmons Parnell
Annie “Jo” Simmons Parnell passed away quietly in her sleep on Nov. 4, 2018, at her home in Navarre, Fla., after a long battle with lung cancer. She was born to J.L. and Alma Christian Simmons on April 19, 1944, at home in West Ridge, Ark., and was a 1961 graduate of Missco School. She married Terry Joe Parnell on Nov. 6, 1961. She was a former resident of Blytheville, and was a customer service manager at the Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base Commissary for several years, until shortly before the base closed.
Jo was a creative person who was adept with her mind and hands, and could do or make anything she set herself to do. She was a phenomenal basketball player in high school, attended beauty school, learned cake decorating, and was also adept at sewing, making multiple dresses, costumes, and whatever came up over the years for her children. She was a plain-spoken woman who was always willing to give advice. She was an excellent cook, and she was a mom and grandma to everyone. She was always there to pitch in and lend a helping hand, and when she retired from Civil Service, she found a new passion-gardening. She joined the Navarre Garden Club and her flowers in her yard became her pride and joy. She enjoyed sharing the love of growing things with the Junior Gardeners in Navarre Schools.
She was preceded in death by her parents, J.L. and Alma Simmons; two brothers, William, who died in infancy, and Earnest Leonard; and a sister, Pamela Grace, who died at 12 years.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Terry Joe, of the home; two children, son, Terry (Jacquelyn) of Bay Minette, Ala., and daughter, Teresa (Andrew) of Altus, Okla.; five grandchildren, Penny Lewis of Pace, Fla., Savanna Parnell of Bay Minette, Lindsay Barnes of Norman, Okla., and Brandon Barnes and Hayley Barnes of Altus, Okla.; two great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She is also survived by three brothers, Joe (Violet) Simmons of Glenwood; James (Linda) Simmons of Dolph; and Carroll (Tamra) Simmons of Hot Springs; two sisters, Benda Pearl Ridgdill of Lakewood, Colo., and Rosa McCreary of Tupelo, Miss.; sister-in-law, Debbie Simmons, of Jonesboro; and two aunts who were raised as sisters, Betty Kemp of Sherwood and JoAnn Smith of Arkadelphia; and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews. There are also a whole host of family friends and 'adopted' kids who will miss her.
Lewis Funeral Home, Navarre, Fla.