Obituary for Jo Ann Cockrell
Jo Ann Vance Cockrell, 87, of West Paducah, died peacefully in La Center, Kentucky, on Thursday, April 10, 2014.
Mrs. Cockrell, born December 9, 1926, lived all but her final few months in McCracken County, most all of which was on the family farm just outside West Paducah. In a day when rootedness is seldom practiced and little valued, she was of the home place and the home place was of her. "Grammy" dedicated her life to making home a place of nurture, love, warmth, and joy, and her family has long known that there will not be another in her mold for a very long time. She will long be honored and remembered for a life of generously giving of herself in the service of others.
Mrs. Cockrell was an active lifelong member of Olivet Baptist Church, which she served in many capacities. Most notably, she was the church organist for more than thirty years. When the church doors were open, she was at the Hammond C-3 organ filling the sanctuary with her music; and on Christmas morning, when the Christmas bells rang out through the community, it was Jo Ann who had arisen early to announce the celebration of Christ's birth. She was fond of saying that "There are two books in the church-The Bible and the hymnbook-and you should be able to read both!" Her music and all her papers have been preserved in the "Jo Ann Cockrell Collection" in the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, an apt legacy for a life in music.
Mrs. Cockrell was preceded in death by her much loved husband of sixty-three years, Elliott Winning Cockrell. Grammy took great pride in her fine family of five children, their spouses, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, all of which survive her. They are: Dale and Lucinda Cockrell of Lincoln, Vermont, and their son Sam of New York City; Ritchie and Melissa Cockrell, their daughters Stacie Javier and Allison Cockrell and grandchildren Alyssa and Brayden Javier, all of Paducah; Joe Pat and Ruthanne Cockrell of West Paducah, their daughters Andrea Abell of Paducah and Lacy Turner of West Paducah, and grandchildren Katelynn Turner, Samantha Abell, Kaleb Turner, and Carson Abell; Dana and Rachel Cockrell and their daughters Elizabeth and Chrissy Jo Cockrell, all of West Paducah; and Kerin Ann and Russell Stewart, their daughter Erin Stewart and sons William and Weston Stewart, all of La Center.
She was the youngest child of the late Charles William Vance and Mary Kathleen ("Mayme") Miles Vance of West Paducah. Also preceding her in death were her brother Charles William Vance and her sister Mary Elizabeth Vance. She is survived by a brother, Sherley Miles Vance of West Paducah, and a sister Kathleen Vance Chipps of Bayou, Kentucky.
Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm at Olivet Baptist Church. Rev. Tommy Tucker and Rev. Skip Parsons will officiate. Private burial services will be held at Maplelawn Park Cemetery.
Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 2:00-4:00 pm at Olivet Baptist Church
Monday, April 14th, 2014 10:00am, Milner & Orr Funeral Home
Maplelawn Park Cemetery