Jo Frances Dickson, 86 years old, of Milan, Missouri passed away on Monday, November 16th, 2020.
Jo was born on August 21st, 1934 to Murrell Lafayette Jones and Bonnie Lorene (Shouse) Jones in Foos, Missouri. She was survived by her husband Dr. Sherman Miles Dickson, until he passed away just eight days later. She is also survived by her sister Janine Jones of Mexico, Missouri and her brother Murrell Loy Jones of Sullivan, MO. Together Miles and Jo are survived by their children: Richard Kelly Dickson and his wife Ginger of Las Cruces, New Mexico; Lori Dickson Wiles and her husband Timothy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Cindy Dickson of Milan, Missouri; John Patrick Dickson and his wife Michelle of Milan, Missouri.
They have ten grandchildren: Melody (Dickson) Truitt and her husband Elijah; Christopher Dickson and his partner Mindy; Sam Wiles and his partner Alexis; Aaron Herzberg; Zeke Allison and his wife Lauren; Hannah (Wiles) Anderson and her husband Alex; Lucas Allison; Reece Dickson; Katelin Dickson and her partner Kyle; Gracie Dickson. Additionally, they are blessed by several great grandchildren.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents, her son James Michael Dickson, and her sister-in-law Louise Jones.
Jo grew up near St. Louis and went to high school in Ferguson, Missouri. She went on to get her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri where she met Miles. The two got engaged at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, before Miles shipped out to Japan. While Miles was abroad, Jo actually suspended her degree program to work and save money, which they used to get married two weeks after Miles returned, nearly two years after their engagement on August 26th, 1956 at Bethany Church, near Lemons, Missouri. Jo then graduated and taught 6thgrade in Columbia, Missouri while Miles finished veterinary school at their alma matter.
Jo had their first two sons, James Michael and Richard Kelly before they settled in Milan, Missouri in 1962, where she then had Lori Lynn, Cindy Kay and John Patrick. They moved into a house she designed herself in 1965, where she and Miles lived the rest of their lives.
Jo was an intrinsic part of the Milan community, being a member of the Jaycees, the Milan Booster Club, and was on the Milan C2 school board. She was on the original High Hope board and was integral to receiving their start-up grant. Her influence and character in town were equal parts special and unique. She made elaborate, memorable Halloween costumes and showed up at the elementary schools and around town in character well past when her kids were in school. She made amazing, vibrant themed cakes for her children’s birthdays even though she didn’t like to cook. She welcomed everyone into her home and would visit, house, and feed anyone from family member to acquaintance.
Jo was a wonderful grandparent. She was deeply involved in her grandchildren’s lives. She put in immeasurable effort with Christmas presents, birthdays, elaborate art projects and playing outside. She taught her grandkids about the life cycle of animals, plants and flowers, and how to ride an ATV (in her 60’s no less). She attended countless sports games, plays, musicals, and concerts, and was present at nearly every high school and college graduation.
She enjoyed travelling with Miles later in life with the highlights being New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, New York City, and Mount Rushmore.
Jo was multi-talented to the point of unbelievability. She could paint, sew, draft, and make beautiful flower arrangements. She could learn very quickly how to do anything she set her mind to. She was the manager of their veterinary clinic and farm, working alongside Miles whenever possible. She was active and full of energy for so long. A devoted wife, she made a point of making sure Miles returned home at the end of day to comfort. She made dinner for Miles every night she could; not in some anachronistic way, but as an everyday sign of consistent love.
A visitation is scheduled for 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM, Saturday, December 5, 2020 with a service following at 2:00 PM at Schoene-Ruschmeier Funeral Home in Milan. Burial will follow at the Dickson Cemetery, North of Milan. Friends may come by the funeral home any time after 11:00 AM on Friday to pay their respects.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Dickson Cemetery.