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Born: Fri., Jan. 13, 1939
Died: Fri., Feb. 22, 2013


2:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Mar. 01, 2013
Location: DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home

Funeral Service

10:30 AM Sat., Mar. 02, 2013

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Jo Ellen Adams McConnell, age 74 died at 11:05 p.m. on Friday,  February 22, 2013 at her home with her caring family surrounding her. She was born January 13, 1939, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN a daughter of James DuPont and Clarice Vivian (Mink) Adams. A Whitley County native, she graduated with the class of 1957 from Columbia City High School, where she participated in speech, band, and was editor of "The Eagle" school newspaper. Jo Ellen graduated from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH in 1964 with a B.A. degree in Spanish.  In 1969, she graduated from Lawton School for Dental Assistants in Encino, CA. Jo Ellen also attended the University of California at Berkeley, Michigan State University, and Mexico City College.

She worked as a journalist at the Columbia City Post and the Commercial-Mail, as Society Editor, Wire Editor, and Managing Editor.  Other jobs were the Garden Gift Shop, legal secretary, tour escort, dental assistant, high school Spanish teacher, caregiver, and translator for Essex Traffic. She had shown Tennessee Walking. Three Gaited and Arabian horses.  

A descendant of early first families of Whitley County, John Quincy Adams and John Collins, she was a life member of both the Whitley County Historical Society and Indiana Historical Society.  Jo Ellen worked on and edited the Whitley County Historical Bulletin 14 years.  She was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia City until it closed May 31, 2009.  Other memberships were The Coterie, Whitley County Genealogical Society, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Colonel Augustin de la Balme Daughters of the American Revolution, Acres Land Trust, First Families of Whitley County and Pioneer Families of Whitley County.

An original member of the Recommending Committee of the John and Hester Adams Trust, she also served as chairman for 29 years.  She was the last person living of the Adams family who resided in the James C. Collins home on North Whitley Street.  Built in 1860, the building is presently serving as the office of the Whitley County Community Foundation.

Her first marriage was to Michael A. McConnell D.D.S. from 1959-1973. Her second marriage was to Gregory W. Copp from 1984-1997.  In addition to Columbia City, she was a former resident of Cleveland, OH; Topeka, KS; Peru, IN; Mexico City, Mexico; and Berkeley, CA.  At age 13-years-old, she crossed the Atlantic with her family to Europe aboard the Cunard ship Queen Mary and returned on the Queen Elizabeth. She enjoyed traveling in foreign countries, especially Costa Rico, caring for animals, and participating in her church.  Other interests were Whitley County history, speaking Spanish, and spending time at her Crooked Lake cottage.

Jo Ellen’s family always came first in her life and her survivors include  a son, James A. (September) McConnell,  D.D.S., Columbia City, and a daughter, Marcia A. (Bill) Meader, Antioch, CA and three grandchildren, Maxwell and Miranda McConnell and Rachel Meader; seven nieces and nephews; 10 great nieces and nephews; and five great-great nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by a brother, James W. Adams, sister, Lois Jeanne Fahl and one nephew, Jon Fahl.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 1, 2013 from 2-8:00 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.  A Celebration of Life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the funeral home with Rev. Jeffrey Copp, Agape Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne, officiating. Committal services and burial will follow at Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City. Memorials may be given to Whitley County Humane Society or Whitely County Historical Society.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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Condolence Booklet

   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
May God give you strength in this time of grief and fond memories of
JO ELLEN ADAMS McCONNELL, CCHS ALUMNI class of 1957. The alumni
of CCHS extends sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers to JO ELLEN's

Ted & Sue Gruver (Naples, FL.)
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Sorry to hear of the passing of Jo Ellen, our 1957 classmate of CCHS and a
true friend, a wonderful lady. All the memories of Jo Ellen gathered through the years are ours to keep forever. We will miss her and the conversations we had over the years. We wish her peace and give our deepest sympathy to the family. Good bye Jo Ellen.

Alfred A. Jerves
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Dear Jim and Marcia and all of your extended family,

We send our deepest sympathy at the passing of your mother. We will always remember Jo Ellen for her love of life and adventure.

Al and Kathy Jerves

   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Words come so hard this morning. Your mom was truly one of the best things that came into my life. I am so grateful to have been able to call her a friend and such a good one at that. She was the most caring, giving, smart, funny, full of life person I ever met. I am truly going to miss our time together but I will get to see her again one day. Thank you all for sharing your mom with me she blessed my life.

Love & Prayers to all of you.


Valerie Byer Rouch
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
To the Family of JoEllen~
As I read her obituary this morning...memories flood my mind of Jo Ellen.
Always having time to listen and show interest and friendship. The
"Adams Family"...one of the first families among my Church Family @ the
First Presbyterian Church I remember. A Family of gracious goodness.
Each I remember in a special way, but sharing on committees and having
the same love for the Church was what I will remember most about Jo Ellen.
Never to overlook Jo Ellen's endless hours spent loving her Community of
Columbia City, Indiana and Whitley County. She served on many
committees all for the betterment of Life.
Yes, Life, Jo Ellen loved Life and was always thrilled to share funny
stories and tales of Family quips and antics. My, my did she love those grandchildren and felt so blessed and honored to be their Grandmother.
Yes, Indeed...J oEllen (Adams) McConnell will be missed.
Family, may the memories you have be held like treasures...for God gives
them to you to hold in your heart forever and a day.
Prayers and Strength to each of you in the coming hours, days, weeks
and months.

Fondly & Most Sincerely,

Valerie Byer Rouch

Joan Blaine (Schang)
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
So surprised to hear of Jo Ellen's passing. She looked so good in her last pic at Christmas - truly one of a kind - my sincerest sympathies, Joan

Fayette and Rex Carpenter
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Fayette and I were saddened to learn of Jo Ellen's passing. As classmates of Jo Ellen we shared many good times. Our condolenes to Jo Ellen's family. Rex & Fayette

Bonny and Todd Morano
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Dear Marcia, Bill and Rachel,
So glad we knew your mom and pray for peace at this time. She was a wonderful mom and grandmother and we always had a good time visiting with her in California. Maybe your memories of her bring you great happiness and joy.
Love, Bonny and Todd

Melba and Bud Sawyer
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Jim,Marcia and family
Want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss.We began as neighbors with you Mom and grew into dear friends. We loved the time that we got to spend with her. She was such a positive and genuinely interesting person. Our hearts go out to your family and her friends. May God bless and keep you until we are reunited with our dear friend and your loving Mother.

Keith and Rose Ann (Ness) Harris
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
May the Good Lord keep his arms wrapped around you during this difficult time in your life. Jo Ellen will be missed and we will all look forward to meeting her again someday in the great beyond.

Pauline L. "Jiillerat" Bruch
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
As I am spending the winter in Florida and unable to attend the funeral of one of my friends, Jo Ellen, I would like to extend my condolence to all of her family. I know she will be missed by each one of them, but there are several good memories they will remember her by. Even though I cannot be there, she will be remembered in my thoughts and prayers here. I will always remember her as a "57" classmate and a good friend who shared many stories at our GGOL breakfasts every Wednesday morning at Richard's Restaurant in Columbia City. She was one who could light up your life and make you laugh. I will miss her when I am back home in Columbia City and once again attending the weekly breakfast. I am so glad she is now at peace and in the hands of our great Lord. Love you Jo Ellen!

Becky Hand
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Our condolences to the family of Jo Ellen McConnell. She was one of the great ladies of Whitley County. The encouragement she offered to this insecure writer will always be treasured. She will be missed. God bless.

Elkins' Family
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
Though we only met a short time ago, you were always so sweet to talk to at the basketball games. I know Jake will miss the times he was able to spend with you at the lake. He was priviliged to get to know you and you will be missed.

Steve, Jill, Ross & Jake

Amy McVay Abbott
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
Oh, Jo Ellen, I will miss you. You were not only friends with my grandmother but my mother and then me. Our families went went back, and in these last years I've so enjoyed talking with you about Whitley County history. You have always been a good friend to me. I know you are at peace and are not suffering. I always admired your positive attitude and your joi de vivre. Love, Amy

Roger & Jeanette Anderson
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
So sorry to hear of JoEllen's passing. Be assured she is in our thoughts and prayers. We first became classmates in kindergarten and remained so
until our graduation from CCHS in 1957.

Sue Babovec
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
Remembering all of you in my prayers - with fond memories of Jo Ellen. Blessings to you all, Pastor Sue

Randy Grimes
   Posted Mon February 25, 2013
May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.

Randy Grimes and the Staff of DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home

Rev. Geoffrey McLean
   Posted Mon February 25, 2013
May God comfort you in this time of loss. Jo Ellen was a wonderful addition to my life when I came to Columbia City to be the Pastor at First Presbyterian. She was always willing to give her opinion, even when I didn't ask. She also helped me many days edit newsletters and bulletins. I think she truly enjoyed seeing how much red ink she could use each time. I will always appreciate the care she showed me as a young man in a new town.

Marilyn K. Murphy
   Posted Mon February 25, 2013
Dear Marcia and Jim and families,
I was so very sorry to learn of your mom's passing. She had fought so long and so bravely, and had come out on top, I thought. Jo Ellen was one of a kind, and I will miss chatting with her about whatever the topic might be that day. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Marilyn Murphy

The Brennan Family
   Posted Mon February 25, 2013
Dr McConnell and all JoEllen's Family:
Our hearts go out to you in the passing of JoEllen. My mother Joan and brothers Jim, Joe and Mark join me in offering our condolences. Our family has many memories of JoEllen and her family. JoEllen always kindly remembered Kin/Barry and Kevin, as we now remember her. Columbia City is a better community thanks to the contributions of JoEllen, her parents and family. The Adams family has played a vital role in making Columbia City a wonderful place to grow up. Thank you JoEllen, for your life and your joy and your goodness. Kathy Brennan.

Ryan Daniel
   Posted Tue February 26, 2013
Amanda and I express our deepest sympathies to the family of Jo Ellen. She was a lovely lady that was honest and sincere in everything that she did. Jo Ellen was most kind during the campaign of 2011, constantly reminding me that Amanda was my biggest asset. :) We will miss her spirit and determination.

Poornima Baxi
   Posted Tue February 26, 2013
My dear Marcia,
Admiral Baxi and I send our heartfelt condolences. I have known Jo Ellen close to a decade. She was a very caring, brave and humble human being. we have always admired her for her determination in face of personal adversity. Her absence will be felt by all of us in many ways.

May God rest her soul in peace.


Poornima Baxi

Richard Fleck
   Posted Wed February 27, 2013
Marcia and Jim;
JoEllen sent me so many pictures of you over the years I feel I know you and I want you to know that I sincerely share your feeling of great loss. Wasn't she something? We really "discovered" each other at age fifteen and were boyfriend and girlfriend in a rather sweet niave way. We laughed at the same jokes, shared secrets, and enjoyed food fests of raisin bran in the new kitchen.
Over the years we went in different directions, but always somehow got back in touch and remained friends. The brave messages she sent over the last several years reminded me of the sixteen year old who drove to school in her ancient Studebaker. She continued to send me puns up until very recently.
I'll miss so many of the good things we shared, but will keep many happy memories to make me smile. JoEllen; I toast you and know you are now somewhere safe and painfree.
Most sincerely,
Dick Fleck

Janis Kelly
   Posted Wed February 27, 2013
Marcia, Jim and families, I am one of Jo Ellen's GGOL of the "57" class. This group became so close through our years together and have shared so many stories of our families and meeting each others families and getting to know each others grandchildren. My Ben played basketball with Max in grade school and now they are in collage and have girlfriends.
We used to walk to West Ward together and sometimes her father would take us and quiz us all the way to school about our history lessons. I wasn't very good at history and at times I tried to miss the ride.
Jo Ellen and I have helped organize our class reunion several times and I have many memories from those times as well. She was an amazing and wonderful person who helped make this community a better place to live. She is missed tremendously already.

   Posted Thu February 28, 2013
To Jo Ellen's family,
So sorry to hear of the passing of a such a good person. I never heard anything but positive things from her. May God bless you during this sad time for so many extended family as well.
Sandy & Jane McLean
Hilo, Hawaii

Charla (Bender) Higgins
   Posted Fri March 01, 2013
Jim and Family
Sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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