JoAnn's Story

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PERU - JoAnn (Gore, Burkeybyle) Phillips passed away at Blair Ridge Health Campus on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. She had been in declining health after suffering a heart attack in August. JoAnn was born Nov. 12, 1934, in Edgar County, Ill., to Emory Eli Gore and Beulah Marie (Ridgway).
She is survived by daughters, Janie (John) Fish, Purcellville, Va., Navi (Joe) Vernon, Peru, and Elesa (Mike) McCann, Noblesville; grandchildren, Charity (Jeff) Bohn, Ankeny, Iowa, Amy (Jason) Deitrich, Battle Ground, Ind., Sheena (Sean) Kuyper, Rossville, Emily (Casey) Kight, Purcellville, Va., Eric (Kathryn) Fish, Raleigh, N.C., Samantha Vernon, Portland, Ore., Matt Vernon, Fort Wayne, Katie McCann, Lafayette, and Patrick McCann, Noblesville; great-grandchildren, Cinnamon Roe, Ava and Lucy Deitrich, Kelly Ann and Porter Kight, Will and Emma Kuyper, and Tinsley Jane Fish; plus, several nieces, nephews, and friends.
She was married in 1954 to Phillip Roy Burkeybyle, who died in September 1956. In 1976, she married Richard Ora Phillips, who died in January 2006. She was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands, son-in-law, three brothers, and three sisters.
JoAnn spent her working years as an elementary school teacher, at Pimento and Hoosier Prairie Elementary schools, near Terre Haute. Among the many accolades she received, her students credited her with making math fun. Her favorite job was teaching fourth graders about Indiana history.
After retirement, she traveled extensively with her husband, Richard. They lived in Jasonville until 1998, then moved to historic Braden Castle Park in Bradenton, Fla. After Richard's death, JoAnn made it her mission to interview and write the personal histories of many park residents, led bridge classes, and organized the annual park festival.
In 2012, JoAnn decided it was time to move into assisted living in Indiana. At Blair Ridge, she made many friends, including a core group of bridge players who she thoroughly enjoyed.
JoAnn's passions included storytelling, playing bridge, and quilting.
Several years ago, her granddaughter, Charity, gave her a book of questions, "Grandma, Tell Me Your Memories...." JoAnn would want us to share this excerpt with you...
"Did you ever lose something really important to you?" Her answer, "'Things' have never been that important, but I've lost people who could never be replaced. It seems to be the penalty for living. Sad to say, change is constant and each person lost changes your life. Be very sure you spend your leisure time with the people you value most not the people you think you have to spend your life with." Good advice.
JoAnn's ongoing legacy is the lives that she changed.
A memorial is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of JoAnn Phillips to the Cass County Family YMCA, 905 E. Broadway, Logansport, IN 46947.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Eikenberry-Eddy Funeral Home.
Family and friends may leave a memory or message of condolence by visiting the online obituary at:
Published on November 21, 2017
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