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Jo Ann Wolfson (born Seeley)


Gender: Female

Date of Birth: October 27, 1919

Date of Death: June 18, 2002

Birth Place: Topeka, KS

Death Place: Ponca City, OK

Jo Ann Seeley Wolfson, former Salina resident, died Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at Via Christi Oklahoma Regional Medical Center. She was 82.

A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 22, 2002 at Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery. A memorial service to celebrate her life will follow the burial at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. J.D. Ward, Pastor, officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of the Trout Funeral Home.

Jo Ann was born in Topeka, Kansas on Oct. 27, 1919, the daughter of Edwin and Mary Josephine (Ellis) Seeley. She grew up there with her sister, Suvane (deceased) and her brother, Robert. When Jo Ann was eight years old her mother died of Tuberculosis and the siblings were separated to live with other family members. Jo Ann was fortunate enough to be taken in by her 76 year old grandmother who had a profound effect on her spiritual life, her strength, and her sense of values. In the 1930’s, it was unusual for young ladies to be able to attend college. Jo Ann graduated from Salina High School class of 1937, went on to attend two years at Kansas Wesleyan University and transferred to Emporia State Teachers College. It was during this time in her life that Jo Ann met Clifford “Cliff” Wolfson, a high school acquaintance, before he volunteered for the service. They eloped in the Methodist church at Camp Robinson in Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 16, 1941 with Cliff’s entire 130th Field Artillery Battalion, 145 Infantry Division, US Army in attendance. After the war, the young family moved back to Kansas where Clifford and Jo Ann were both involved in owning and operating hotels and motels. They relocated to Ponca City in 1956 at which time Jo Ann worked for Ponca City Savings & Loan (later Frontier Federal Savings & Loan). She retired after 20 years. They had a loving marriage for 42 years, which ended with Cliff’s untimely death in 1985.

Jo Ann was a member of the order of the Eastern Star Chapter # 228 in Hays, Kansas. She was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church and enjoyed teaching and the mutual caring of the Friendship Class. She was also active in the bell choir. She loved stuffing bunnies for the Bunny Ministry for children, all the while losing her eyesight due to macular degeneration. She found joy in actively helping others live with this affliction and by sharing her knowledge in the use of the latest sight aids available.

Jo Ann leaves a loving son, James Clifford Wolfson and his wife Vivian Bomar Wolfson of Dallas; a beloved daughter, Donna Milstein and her husband Arthur of Houston; three grandchildren, Scott Wolfson of Atlanta, Brett Wolfson of Dallas and Anya Milstein of New York City. She also leaves a brother, Robert Seeley of Ft. Collins, Colo.; three sister-in-laws, Margaret Moro of Walla Walla Wash.; Helen Wolfson of Salina, Kan. and Esther Gribben of Hays, Kan.; as well as nieces, nephews and their families.

Her loving companion of the last 14 years, Charlie Rowe of Ponca City grieves with the family. The family is grateful to him, as well as her dear friend, Linda Jantz, who looked after and cared for Jo Ann with unselfish love. The family also thanks the entire staff of Westminster Village for their loving care over the last year.

Memorial donations may be made in Jo Ann’s name to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, Inc., 15825 Shady Grove Rd., Suite 140. Rockville, MD 20850-4022 or to First United Methodist Church, 200 S. 6th, Ponca City, OK 74601 or to Hospice of Ponca City, 1904 N. Union, Suite 103, Ponca City, OK 74601.

Published in unknown newspaper, clipping donated to the Seeley Genealogical Society

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