Jo Margaret Reddell
On Sunday, October 13, 2019, Jo Margaret Reddell, loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away unexpectedly while vacationing in Hawaii, one of her favorite holiday spots. Jo was born on July 6, 1953 in Carlsbad, New Mexico to Judge Harvey and Virginia (Robinson) Fort. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 1974 with a degree in fashion and merchandising and became a mother in 1976. She and Dr. David Reddell were married in 1997.
Jo was a legendary gift giver. The personalized thought and care she put into each gift given was a reflection of her deep interest in and compassion for her loved ones, cherished friends, and acquaintances in need. Everyone in the family knew to be careful in making admiring comments while shopping. A casual statement made in appreciation of an item would often precede its unwrapping at the next holiday or birthday celebration – it didn’t even matter if it was your birthday. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving – these were all days to distribute gifts.
Accordingly, her favorite holiday was Christmas – which provided her each year an opportunity to combine her three great loves: family and friends, bargain shopping, and giving away whatever she purchased. In our eyes, she out-shone Santa Claus himself. She had a particular fondness for any gift that put a smile on a child’s face. Spending hours upon hours each Christmas selecting and mapping out the gifts she would give to her grandchildren and children, Jo sought to ensure each child’s delight and a robust sense of fairness and equality among them. Her great fear was that anyone might feel they had been treated unfairly. The holidays this year will simply not be the same.
Jo took excellent care of David, her parents, her Aunt Jo, her children and her grandchildren. A nurse by profession and a caregiver by the Lord’s design, Jo had a penchant for inquiring about, presiding over, and improving everyone’s health– especially her beloved David’s. She took great joy in tending to those who were infirm, in crisis, or simply in need of a friend. One of the expressions of her devout Christianity was how she found a way to befriend and assist those she believed had been treated unfairly or cast aside – from wayward kittens to those without a family to share a meal with during the holidays.
As the self-appointed family archivist, Jo lovingly kept track of family members and the keepsakes they held dear. No relation of hers was so distant or so removed that she did not keep in touch. She had an adventurous spirit, traveling near and far to visit those she loved in order to share with them her easy sense of humor and her infectious laugh.
A fierce competitor at the bridge table, Jo built many of her best friendships displaying an intelligent and strategic mind over a few hands of cards. Nevertheless, the joy she experienced winning at bridge was transcended by the joy she took in hosting the event and selecting the prizes.
Jo was preceded in death by her father, Harvey, mother, Virginia, and her namesake, Aunt Jo. She is survived by her husband, David, her children, Hunter Stanco and Whitney Hagopian, her stepchildren, Kimberley Cole and Brice Reddell and her siblings, Patrick, Randy and Kelly. She is also survived by her eight beloved grandchildren Jameson, Ruby, Riley, Ella, Phoebe, Luke, Brooklyn and Lyla Jane and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Donations in her honor can be made to Capitol of Texas Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Hillsdale College.