Jo Ella (Graham) Shelton, 85, of Tuscola, Texas, passed away October 31, 2023. A visitation will be held Thursday, November 2nd from 5 - 7 p.m. at Fry-Smith Funeral Home in Tuscola, TX. A graveside service will take place Friday, November 3rd at 2 p.m. at Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memories Cemetery on HWY 277 S in Abilene, TX.
She was born in Bisbee, AZ to Monroe and Ophelia Graham. After her dad worked in the coal mines in Arizona, they moved their family back to Tuscola.
Jo graduated from South Taylor High School in 1956 and was a member of the Secret Six.
Jo and her dad were big fans of Avoca High School boys' basketball and kept all their articles. She and Monroe attended the basketball game in Austin at Gregory Gym where Avoca won the state championship. Though they had not met yet, her husband, Bud, was a member of that state championship team. They met a few years later through a mutual friend and married in 1966.
Bud and Jo had two daughters, Marla Jo and Marian Lee. They enjoyed going on many road trips across the country, and the girls always found a place to shop while Bud golfed.
Jo worked at First National Bank as a bank teller for several years and at McMurry College in the Business Office.
Jo also enjoyed many years in education, including her time as a secretary at Butterfield Elementary. She always cherished the special ladies she worked with at the school, also known as the Butterfield Gang.
Jo retired in 2000 to become a full-time Mimi. She loved her three granddaughters M'Lee, McCall and Malone dearly and attended many of their events as they grew up. Bud, Jo, and Marla went to several music programs, ballet recitals, track meets, basketball and softball games, and graduations over the years. Mimi was known for preparing 500 eggs for the girls to hunt at Easter. She never wanted to leave anyone out during birthday celebrations, so she gave whoever's birthday we were not celebrating $10. She was the heart of her family who always took care of others before herself. She was more than a mom and a Mimi. She was our best friend.
Jo is preceded in death by her parents, Monroe and Ophelia Graham; brother, Tommy Graham and wife, Sue; nephew, Andy Graham; husband, Bud; and daughter, Marla.
She is survived by her daughter Marian and husband Mark Graham of Tuscola; granddaughters, M'Lee, McCall and Malone, also of Tuscola; and niece, Lori Barbee, and many other extended family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Ned Volunteer Department, 738 Buffalo Gap Rd, Tuscola, TX 79562.