Jo Ann McIver
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Jo Ann McIver
  • June 28, 1940 - January 14, 2018
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Jo Ann Howard McIver, 77, a long-time resident of Chapel Hill, died Sunday, January 14th, after fighting a long and courageous battle with complications due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Jo Ann was born in Monroe, NC, but soon moved to Wagram, where she played on the basketball team and her father was the school principal. She often expressed fond memories of her childhood there, spending time with friends during the summers swimming in, and playing along, the Lumber River. In the 10th grade, she and her family moved to Sanford. She attended Sanford Central High School, where she was the editor of Sandprints, the high school annual.

Jo Ann began her higher education at Wake Forest University, and after two years, she took time off to marry and start a family. She returned years later to graduate from Meredith College with a degree in Education, all while raising her three children.

Jo Ann's life can be characterized as a life of giving to others. For over 25 years, she was a dedicated and nurturing elementary school teacher at Little River Elementary School in Northern Durham County and Ephesus Elementary School in Chapel Hill. She cared deeply about her students, and provided a happy, warm, and caring atmosphere where the children excelled. She stressed character development, always emphasizing the importance of conducting oneself with honesty and consideration for others. She made a point of making all of her students feel special and loved. Due to her declining health, she retired early, but still receives notes and calls from former students and parents, thanking her for her dedication to teaching and for the positive impact she had on her students' lives.

Jo Ann deeply loved her family, friends, and church. She loved to travel and enjoyed many memorable family trips to places including Nova Scotia, Barbados, the Grand Canyon, and camping in the NC Mountains. She especially enjoyed vacations at the family cottage on Oak Island, where she enjoyed chats on the deck, listening to the ocean, and feeling the warm sea breeze. She also enjoyed playing in a bridge club, and the special times she spent going to lunch and shopping with friends. She was an avid reader, with three or four books open at a time, and loved to share what she was reading with others. She was a member of Amity United Methodist Church for many years, and valued the fellowship and lasting relationships that she made with her church family.

Jo Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Eugene Howard and Ruby Horner Howard, as well as her husband, W.L. McIver, Jr. She is survived by her three children, Catherine Howard Kimberley (Kevin) of Cary, Mary Elizabeth Collins (Michael) of Cary and Jonathan Christopher Lee McIver of Chapel Hill; her granddaughter, Anna Catherine Kimberley; siblings, Gayle McNeill Howard and Robert Eugene Howard, Jr. (Penny) of Chapel Hill; niece, Susannah Margaret Howard; nephew, Duncan Robert Howard (Bradli); and many cousins, including Robbie and Michelle Hampton, Fentress Horner (Kay) and family, Carol Figuera (Michael) and family.

Despite her own physical suffering over the years, she lived determined, hopeful, and with a great sense of humor. She was compassionate and always concerned for the well-being of her family and friends. To her family, she was known to say, "As long as you are alive, there is hope".

Our family cannot find words to express how much she will be missed. As a mother, she was very close to her three children and showed a deep love and concern for them daily, always putting their needs before her own. She was very interested and involved in their lives; a wonderful role model, always displaying patience, love, and forgiveness. Her children could not have hoped for a more kind and devoted mother. We find comfort in knowing that she is now with our loving God and is no longer suffering.

In celebration of her life, a memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 4th, 2018 at Amity United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill (825 N. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill NC, 27514).

Condolences to the family may be made through Brown-Wynne Funeral Home of Cary. www.brownwynnecary.com

In lieu of flowers, contributions and gifts may be made to Amity United Methodist Church of Chapel Hill, the Durham Rescue Mission, or the Arthritis Foundation.