JACKSON

Jo Ann Walton, 68, peacefully passed away on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Select Specialty Hospital in Jackson, surrounded by loving family members after a short, but brave health battle. Jo Ann was born on March 12, 1949 in Shaw, as the third and youngest child of Mr. J.C. McClure and Mrs. Pauline McClure. Jo Ann graduated from Shaw High School in Shaw before going on to Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia. It was at Northwest where she met the love of her life, John William Walton of Slate Springs. Jo Ann and John finished their undergraduate degrees at Delta State University in Cleveland and exchanged vows in a small ceremony on Aug. 17, 1969. Jo Ann also earned a Master’s degree in the field of education from the University of Southern Mississippi and pursued doctoral work at Mississippi State University. In roles that ranged from classroom teacher to assistant superintendent, Jo Ann had a successful career in service to Mississippi public education in school districts from the coast, to the hills to the Delta. Jo Ann concluded her career as founder and CEO of Training Resources Associates, earning acknowledgement from Mississippi Business Journal in 2001 as one of the state’s Fifty Leading Business Women. As accomplished as she was in her career, her greatest joy was her immediate family who will remember her best for her indomitable spirit. Jo Ann was preceded in death by her husband, parents and father and mother-in-law, M.L. Walton and Jimmie Alice Simpson Walton. She is survived by her son, Dr. Jason Lewis Walton and daughter-in-law Laurie Bearden Walton of Ridgeland. She was a loving grandmother to two grandchildren by Jason and Laurie: Caroline Rose Walton and John William Walton, II. Jo Ann is survived by a devoted daughter, Callie Walton, of Indianola. Jo Ann is survived by two older siblings: Bonnie McClure Spencer (and her husband Dwight Spencer) of Barney, Ga. and a brother James Otis McClure (and his wife René Bishop McClure) of Shaw. Surviving nieces and nephews of her sister and brother include: Carla Spencer, Karen Summerlin, Brian McClure and Thomas McClure. Jo Ann is survived by a sister-in-law and brother-in-law: Alice Ann Walton Kitchen (and her husband Marvin Kitchen) of Oklahoma City, Okla. and Lewis Simpson Walton of Gainesville, Fla. She is predeceased by her niece Joan Walton Carmichael. Surviving nieces of her sister-in-law include Leanne Rollins, Timothy Scott Kitchen and Julie Kitchen Thompson. She is survived by numerous great nieces and nephews. A private ceremony for family will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of Jo Ann’s lifelong dedication to the field of education, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Jackson Preparatory School c/o the Faculty Development Endowment, P.O. Box 4940, Jackson, MS 39296. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.burtonfuneralhome.net