Jo Ann Jennings was born on March 7, 1928, the daughter of Christine and Grady C. Leggett. Together with her older sister Mary Elizabeth, Jo Ann grew up in a series of oil refinery camps in Seminole OK, Graham OK, Madill OK, and Holiday Tx. A talented student, Jo Ann was the Valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from the Baylor University School of Nursing in 1949.
Following her graduation from Baylor Jo Ann married Paul C. (“Pete”) Jennings, a union that produced two children – Paul C. Jennings, Jr., and Mary Cris Jennings Crawford; four grandchildren – Peter Jennings, Rachel Hutchon, Lydia Kelley, and Margaret Nudelman; and eight great-grandchildren.
Throughout their fifty-four years of marriage Jo Ann and Pete lived in places as diverse as western Oklahoma, London England, Aberdeen Scotland, and Tehran Iran. Jo Ann estimated that she and Pete lived in over forty houses over the course of his career with Haliburton Co. With each transfer it was Jo Ann who organized the move, established the new household, and ensured the continuity of family life.
In 1986 Pete retired and the couple moved to Salado TX where they played an active role in community life there for more than thirty years. Jo Ann was well known as an indefatigable volunteer for social, cultural, and church events, a gracious host, and a merciless bridge player. For many years she rode herd on a large family reunion on Memorial weekend that regularly included more than sixty attendees. Following Pete’s death in 2004, Jo Ann continued to play an active role in her extended family and the Salado community.
In 2017 Jo Ann made her final move to the Brookdale Spicewood Springs facility in Austin due to health issues. There she became a favorite of the staff thanks to her open, friendly manner, her unfailing sense of hospitality, and her humanity.
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