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Josephine “Jo” Johns Creech entered into eternal rest on Saturday, February 4, 2023. Born in Lee County on September 10, 1935 to the late Elma Louise Davis Denton and Ralph Cook Denton, the family moved to Winnsboro SC where she graduated from Greenbrier High School.
In 1953 she married Clyde Vernon Johns, and they would call Winnsboro home for many years. While Clyde was employed with AT&T, Jo put her many talents to use in a variety of fields including working for Judge George Coleman, in Human resources at Uniroyal, and as the Attendance Officer at Winnsboro High School. That position was a favorite of hers as she had a profound love for children. And although there were many students that got a wink and a pass for being tardy from those always sparkling eyes, her daughter Amy recalls that unfortunately, she was not one of them.
Once her daughter graduated high school and headed off to USC, Jo had the opportunity to join her husband on many of the contract jobs that took him abroad. One such appointment took them to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In typical fashion, Jo was not one to remain idle and immediately devoted her time doing civilian clerical work for the US Army. While there she also started writing a weekly column for the newspaper back home under the title “ Dateline Saudi Arabia “. It goes without saying that it was a favorite among readers of “The News and Herald”.
After her husband’s untimely passing at the age of 60, Jo returned to Winnsboro and found employment once again with the Fairfield School District in the Benefits Department. It was during this time that she started volunteering during election cycles as a poll worker. Given her love of people and her having never met a stranger, it was a perfect fit. As one of her co-workers once said, “ Mrs. Jo is such a nice person who likes everyone and treats them all the same – everybody should treat people like Mrs. Jo.” This compassion was especially extended to parents who had experienced the loss of a young child. Jo had a special place in her heart for them as she and Clyde lost their first child, a son, at birth and their beloved Jo Verna “ Jovi “ at the age of 6 in 1963.
Jo was a longtime active member of Sion Presbyterian Church and after her second marriage to Eugene Creech, she also became affiliated with Stephen Greene Baptist Church. She continued to be a devoted attendee of worship services at both as well as a regular at the Sunday School programs and other parish activities. While at home Jo could be found in her garden planting anything she could nurture and harvest, baking and making pickles that would give Clara Edwards and Aunt Bee a run for their money. Gene also introduced her to another pastime, camping in their RV, which afforded them the freedom to travel and spend time at various sites around the southeast. And when time allowed she also was involved with the Red Hat Society, the Girl Scouts, Senior Action and Women’s Golf. One dimensional she was not.
Jo is survived by her dutiful and devoted daughter, Amelia Johns Tallon Grace of Greenville who was her faithful caregiver during these last few years of her earthly journey. Her spirit will also carry on in her three grandsons, Thomas Ayers Tallon, Andrew Davis Tallon and Charles “Merritt” Grace who were the apples of her eye. The times they spent with their “NINI” cooking, fishing, looking for arrowheads and sleeping over will endure in their hearts forever. And oh, the funny stories they could tell.
She is also survived by her two sisters, Patricia Denton LeGrand and Jeanne Denton Varn. On more than one occasion they would indulge in a little getaway to Harrah’s Cherokee to play the .25 slots and now Jo has hit greatest jackpot of all, eternal life. Also left to cherish her memory are her sister-in-law Janice Johns Childers and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her aforementioned husband and two children as well as her parents and siblings: Ralph Thomas Denton, Mary Elizabeth Denton Thompson and Sandra Diane Denton.
Family will receive friends on Thursday evening from 6-8 o'clock PM at Pope Funeral Home for visitation. Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock PM Friday, February 10, 2023, at Sion Presbyterian Church with reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.
A special thank you goes out to Ty Bauer and the entire staff at Terra Bella Summit, formerly Pendleton Manor in Greenville SC, where she has resided for the past three years. Also, an expression of gratitude goes out to all the kind and compassionate individuals at Agape Hospice who educated, guided and supported her loved ones through the evolving stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Words cannot express the appreciation of all family, extended family, friends and the community of Winnsboro, SC for the constant love and support Amy and her sons have received.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in Jo’s memory to Sion Presbyterian Church, Stephen Greene Baptist Church or the charity of one’s choice.
Pope Funeral Home is assisting the Johns-Creech family.
Sion Presbyterian Church
116 W. Washington Street, Winnsboro SC 29180
Stephen Greene Baptist Church
500 Seventh Street, Winnsboro SC 29180