Jo Anne Williams Dempsey, 67, passed away Saturday, November 9, 2013, at her residence in the Palmetto Community after a lengthy illness. She was born in Portland, Maine September 10, 1946, to Joseph Russell and Ruth Joyner Williams. A lifelong resident of Tupelo, she spent the last 13 years of her life living in the Palmetto Community. Jo Anne was a 1965 graduate of Tupelo High School. In her early life she served as a realtor and was co-owner of Gum Tree Realty. After selling her share of the real estate company, she returned to school to further her education and joined her two daughters at Mississippi State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in education in 1991. She taught school a number of years, first at Coldwater Elementary School in Tate County, then Okolona Elementary School, and lastly Shannon High School where she retired in 2008. Since the early 1960’s Jo Anne had been raising and showing Tennessee Walking Horses. She was the proud owner of a three year old Tennessee Walking Horse mare World Champion named “Wicked Walking Witch”. Along with her love for the Tennessee Walking Horse, she was very active in numerous organizations involving the horses. She was a board member for F.A.S.T. (Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse) and Mid-South Walking Horse Association. Formerly, she was on the board of directors for the Altrusa Club and currently served as the president of the Mississippi Walking Horse Association. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Tupelo.

Graveside Services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at Glenwood Cemetery with Dr. David Eldridge officiating. W. E. Pegues Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.

 She leaves behind two daughters, Mary Ruth Wright (Tommy) of Tupelo and Nancy Jo Thompson (Blake) of Cary, North Carolina; four grandchildren, Mary Elizabeth Wright and Will Wright of Tupelo and Garner Thompson and Chandler Thompson of Cary, North Carolina; one brother, Jimmy Williams (Carlene) of Madison.

 She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Russell Williams and Tom and Ruth Joyner and one brother, William Gardner (Bill) Joyner.

 Visitation will be 4 – 7 p.m. Monday, November 11, 2013, at Pegues Funeral Home.

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to F.A.S.T., P.O. Box 259, Selbyville, Tennessee 37162, The Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38803, or the American Heart Association, 4830 McWillie Circle, Jackson, MS 39206.


Monday November 11, 2013, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at W. E. Pegues, Tupelo
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Graveside Service

Tuesday November 12, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Glenwood Cemetery
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