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Jo Ann Charlene Miller, 82, formerly of Starkville, died on March 12, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. She was the widow of Rev. Rush Glenn Miller, former pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Starkville and later pastor of the Oxford-University United Methodist Church. Rev. Miller passed away in 2007.
Jo Ann joined the Mississippi Division of the American Cancer Society in 1974. After her retirement in 1988, she pursued a life-long interest in genealogy. She compiled family histories and was a contributing writer for the Logan County (Ark.) Historical Society. She was active with the Mississippi Federated Womenâ€™s Clubs, serving as vice president and editor of the organizationâ€™s magazine and was a charter member of the Board of Directors for Mississippi Educational Television. For more than 20 years, Jo Ann was an active member of the Oxford chapter of the PEO sisterhood, an organization that promotes educational opportunities for women, one of her most fervent causes.
Jo Ann was born on July 29, 1929 in Spielerville, Ark., the daughter of William and Amelia Blattler.
She is survived by her four children who grew up in Starkville: Cathy Hawkins Scales of Ackerman; Eileen Hawkins of New York City; Laura Hawkins of Dallas, Texas; and Ken Hawkins of Tallahassee, Fla.; six granddaughters: Mary Scales Parish of Ackerman; Joanna Scales Brockhoff of Slidell, La.; Carley Johnston Nasis, Meagan and Caitlin Probus of Dallas, Texas; and Lauren Hawkins of Tallahassee, Fla.; and four great-grandchildren: Alexandria and Drew Parish, and Will and Ty Brockhoff.
In addition, she leaves a brother and sister, Carlton Blattler and Virginia Blattler Soder, both of Oklahoma City, Okla.
Jo Ann is also survived by four stepchildren with roots in Starkville: Dr. Rush G. Miller of Pittsburgh; John R. Miller of Concord, N.C.; Stephen Miller and Grace Miller Minyard of Greenwood; 13 step-grandchildren and 8 step-great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to pay special tribute to Laura Hawkins, who was her motherâ€™s devoted caregiver and companion to the end of her life.
Memorials can be sent to the Compassion Fund of Oxford/University United Methodist Church.