Jo-Ann Catherine DownsJo-Ann Catherine Downs, 69, of Lady Lake, Fla., passed away peacefully on March 1st, 2013, at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., with her family by her side. Jo-Ann was born on Aug. 3, 1943, in Hayward, Wis. to Antoine and Cora Starr, of Ashland, Wis. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
Jo-Ann Catherine Downs, 69, of Lady Lake, Fla., passed away peacefully on March 1st, 2013, at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., with her family by her side. Jo-Ann was born on Aug. 3, 1943, in Hayward, Wis. to Antoine and Cora Starr, of Ashland, Wis. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
Jo-Ann grew up on the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Reservation in Northwestern Wisconsin, and graduated from Ashland High School in 1961. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, and a minor in Physical Education, in 1965. On June 10, 1967, Jo-Ann married William "Bill" Corbin in Spooner, Wis. She initially taught Physical Education at Spooner High School, and then she taught Business Education at Shell Lake High School for 22 years. She later held various positions for the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, including Internal Auditor, Education Director, Chief Financial Officer, and General Manager. On Dec. 7, 1992, Jo-Ann married Thomas J. Downs in Spooner, Wis. They split their time between their home on Bond Lake, near Wascott, Wis., and their home in Lady Lake, Fla.
Jo-Ann was deeply passionate about education and working with children. After retiring, she was a substitute teacher at various schools near her homes in Wisconsin and Florida, most recently at Village View Community Church in Florida. She also helped with school administration duties. She especially enjoyed working with young children, and spent most of her time in Florida with preschool children. She continued her own education throughout her life, and recently was certified with her Director Credential by the Florida Department of Children and Families Child Care Services. She also enjoyed cooking, traveling, and golfing. Above all else, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, doing crafts, baking sweets, and playing games.
She is survived by her loving husband, Tom, of Lady Lake, Fla; son Scott (Jenny) Corbin of Spooner, Wis.; stepson Terry (Melissa) Downs of Rochester, Minn.; stepdaughter Amanda Downs of Minnetonka, Minn.; six grandchildren, Liam and Julia Corbin, Carter, Sidney, and Grace Downs, and Maxwell Collier; and her sister Jean (Floyd) Deeth of Anniston, Ala.
Jo-Ann was preceded in death by her first husband, William "Bill" Corbin, parents Antoine Starr and Cora Roberts (Starr), stepfather Jack Roberts, sister Nancy Ross (Starr), and brother George Starr.
A funeral service will be held Friday, March 8th, at 11:30 a.m., at Village View Community Church, in Summerfield, Fla.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the 1 p.m. funeral service Monday, March 11th, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, in Spooner, Wis.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held at Tom and Jo-Ann's home on Bond Lake, in Wascott, Wis., at a date this summer yet to be determined. This will include her interment at the Wascott Cemetery.
Downs Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Sign the online guestbook or send condolences at visit www.downsfh.com.