Jo Ann "Charlie" Koonce, age 81, passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2015. Born in Blanchard, Oklahoma on October 14, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Roland Darrell "Pee Wee" Stacy and Virginia Ruth Stacy of Natchez, MS. Jo Ann was also preceded in death by her husband Billy Lee Koonce and her daughter Stacy Daigre Strong.
Jo Ann graduated from Natchez High School in 1952 and Mississippi State University in 1956. While at Mississippi State, Jo Ann and Bill were cheerleaders, and she was named Miss MSU her senior year. She was always a proud Bulldog and was regularly on campus over the years supporting various university organizations and MSU athletic programs. Jo Ann spent 20 years in the apparel business as a buyer for a variety of fine women's clothing retailers around the southeast.
After she and Bill were married in 1997, they spent the next several years on their sailboat "Carried Away" sailing out of Pensacola, FL and spending time in and around the various Caribbean Islands. They retired from sailing in 2002 and moved to be close to family in West Point, MS. Jo Ann was an avid gardener, spending most days piddling in her yard tending to her flowers, herbs and vegetables. She was an amazing cook and a world class crossword puzzle solver. She always had a word game of some sort going on and also enjoyed playing gin rummy, of which she had a standing game ongoing with each of her children for most of their lives.
Jo Ann is survived by her two sons: Darrell Daigre (Lisa) of Raleigh, NC and Alan Daigre (Cindy) of Readyville, TN. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Cole Strong (Ashley), Carrie Strong Wellborn (Noah), Claire Daigre Beard (Carson), Taylor Daigre and Parker Daigre, and eight great-grandchildren.
A private service will be held in North Carolina over the holiday season. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org). Share your memories and condolences with the family at www.smithfuneralhomewoodbury.net Smith Funeral Home (615)563-5337