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Jo Ann Stewart  Colson

Obituary for Jo Ann Stewart Colson

June 7, 1933 - June 29, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 84


Jo Ann Stewart Colson completed her journey into God's eternal peace on June 29, 2017. Services to celebrate her life are still being planned and will take place in Austin at Central Christian Church and in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the National Cemetery.

Jo Ann lived 84 years in the love and companionship of her family and in the joy of her salvation in Jesus. Her last residence was with friends at The Clairmont Retirement Community and her family is so very grateful for the care and companionship of all those who assisted with her life and care for the past 6 years.

Born on June 7, 1933, to Joseph Hardy and Hattie Thedonia Stewart, Jo Ann was sister to Vernon Stewart, Vella Mae Stewart Myers, Beatrice Stewart Parker, Hardy Malcolm Stewart, Gladys Jewell Stewart Almes, Mary Ernestine "Tina" Stewart Nicholson and Bobby "Bob" Glenn Stewart. She was predeceased by her parents, siblings and her husband, Alfred Leigh "Al" Colson, and by her son-in-law Thomas David Bush, as well as by Al's parents and siblings.

Jo Ann is survived by immediate family in Austin, Texas; daughter, Holly Ann Colson Bush, grandson Michael David Bush, grandson Matthew Thomas Bush and wife Jessica Lynn Bush, great-grandson Aidan Thomas Bush, and her great-grandchildren by marriage, Michael Connor Smith, Hannah Beth Castle, and Morgan Leigh Castle. She is also survived by her beloved host of nieces and nephews and their families… some of whom called her "JoAunt".

Jo Ann was born "Patsy" Jo Ann Stewart in rural Shelby County, Texas, in the piney woods outside of Center. Her sister, Gladys Stewart Almes, recalled that the younger children were told the doctor brought baby Jo Ann to them after finding her in a hollow log in the woods near their home! She was the youngest and last living of these eight siblings.

Life began for Jo Ann as a child of the 'great depression' era, but she did not feel it was a large burden on her childhood. She graduated from Center High School in 1950, having attended one year of high school in Odessa, Texas, where her parents relocated for a brief time. This time in Odessa had a huge impact on her for the rest of her days, as this was where she met her high school friend, Johnny Faye Gray who married Jo Ann's brother, Bob. The two of them remained as close as sisters throughout the rest Jo Ann's days and "Aunt" Faye is a great source of memories about her friend and "sister".

In 1953, Jo Ann earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tx. (known then as a State Teacher's College). This is also where she met her husband, Al Colson, who was an Air Force Staff Sergeant stationed in Bryan, Tx. Their life began as base residents and this was where their daughter, Holly, was born in 1954. In 1957, Jo Ann and Al moved their family to Pasadena, Tx., buying their first home in the city of South Houston in 1960. They remained in the Houston area until moving to New Mexico in 1987.

Jo Ann worked for several companies in Houston as an executive secretary or assistant filling roles that would now hold much loftier titles in the corporate world. Many of her most beloved accomplishments in life were in her homemaking skills as seamstress and baker, as well as the family cook and holiday planner. In the 1960's, she created a "Jackie O"-like dress and full-length coat of gold lamiae for her sister Tina to model in a Houston fashion show, and she was a wonderful sewing teacher for Holly. Jo Ann was a pseudo mother, aunt, and grandmother to the extended Bush family of her son-in-law, David, and always welcomed them as her own family at holiday tables filled with her great home- cooked dishes and pastries. She also delighted in assisting her sister, Gladys, in the production of the family history that Gladys wrote for all the Stewart kin, Dear Josh.

Jo Ann and Al relocated to Albuquerque to be near her family in the last years of his declining health, and she then spent ten years there, close to her siblings after his death in 1989. This was the only time so many of these adult Stewart siblings lived so very near one another. Those years held some of her fondest memories. She eagerly looked forward to visits from Holly, David, Michael and Matthew several times each year, gathering them together with all the local Stewart, Myers and Almes families of New Mexico, and attending the grand Stewart Family reunions that also included all the Myers, Parker, & Nicholson families of Oklahoma & Texas… children and grand-children of her large, extended and much beloved J. H. Stewart clan!

Jo Ann's Christian faith was very important to her, and she shared this with her family and friends as often as she could. She was a member of Sombra del Monte Christian Church in Albuquerque and then Central Christian Church in Austin. She enjoyed Sunday school, helping with office work and church functions, and the women's retreats at both congregations. She was especially interested the historic presence and beauty of the Central Christian church building in Austin. She was especially happy knowing that her memorial service would be held in that beautiful sanctuary.

Jo Ann moved to Austin in 1997 to help care for Holly and her family as David endured his own health battle. She managed the household while Holly and David worked and she even became the "construction manager" for the home they all built together in 1998. She was truly in her element as she cooked and planned for daily meals and shopped for her family. She especially loved being so close to her grandsons… and she even took on some family dog care for them all. She loved their dogs & cats and her precious little Janey!

One of the things she did in retirement was act as a mentor to children at an Austin elementary school where most come from homes with great financial challenges… and she LOVED that job. She also "mothered" Holly's large work family and often shared her homemade sweets and snacks with them… she felt like she was a part of that family, too. Her other hobby and passion for many years was needlepoint… and her family have many, many handmade treasured works of art that Jo Ann created with love and joy.

In later life, Jo Ann's declining health took away her ability to cook and sew, and to be at home alone while Holly worked. But she was so very blessed to find a wonderful, independent apartment at The Clairmont and soon made and enjoyed a bevy of friends there, both residents and staff.

Jo Ann (Mom, Grandma, Granny, Mrs. Colson) will be so deeply missed, but the family are all peaceful in the knowledge that her pain is gone and her eternal life is perfect!

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Message from the Family

Thank you for your care and concern for our family as we learn to live life without Jo Ann in our midst.
In lieu of flowers, our family would love for you to donate to a charity close to your heart in her honor.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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