WILMINGTON — Jo Ann Horne Harrell, 88, died Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, after a lengthy illness. Jo Ann was born Oct. 19, 1932, in Brunswick County to Berkley Mercer and Laura Phelps. She attended New Hanover High School and graduated in 1951. She was a graduate of James Walker School of Nursing, Class of 1954.
Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Allard Harrell; first husband, Clayton “Lanky” Horne; two brothers, Dallas Mercer and Ken Mercer; and baby, Michael Mercer Horne.
She is survived by her daughters, Karen Lea, and her husband, Leon, of Wilmington, Angie Benton, and her husband, Joe, Amy Jarrell, and her husband, Jeff, of Rocky Point; son, Stanley Horne of Wilmington; sister, Dorinda Smith, and her husband, Dewey, of Bolivia; seven grandchildren, Carson Seitter, Jacob Lea, and his wife, Candace, Keri Benton, Drew Benton, and his wife, Rochelle, Ross Benton, Katie Jarrell and Nathan Jarrell; four great-grandchildren, Kaleigh Shidal, Summer Lea, Reece Lea and Olivia Benton; sisters-in-law, Geraldine Mercer and Ludie Mercer; many nieces and nephews; and special friend, Dot.
She retired from NHRMC in 1994 as a nurse supervisor after 40 years of service to her community. During her many years of service, she was affectionately known as “a nurse’s nurse” by her peers for her dedication, professionalism and compassion. For her entire career, she worked the 11-7 shift in order to care for her children, because no matter her love for nursing, her family always came first. Star News published an article on her retirement in 1994, she was truly appreciated by her coworkers, and this meant so much to her.
After retirement, Jo Ann’s greatest accomplishment was her family, as she was the matriarch and “Nanny” to her grandchildren. She was a longtime member of Ogden Baptist Church. She enjoyed mall walking; volunteer work; working in her yard; spoiling her grandchildren; and living life with her loving husband, Allard. Jo Ann truly led a great life. She was a shining example to her children for the sacrifices she made. They say “a Mother’s love is a gift from God.” It is clear that God truly blessed us. If you knew Jo Ann, you know what a special lady she was.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, at Coble Funeral & Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1155 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington. Graveside services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Share online condolences with the family at Coble Funeral & Cremation Service at Greenlawn Park.