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Jo Whitt Garrison

December 7, 1940 — March 27, 2024

Weaverville

Jo Whitt Garrison

Jo Whitt Garrison, 84, of Weaverville, NC, took Jesus’s hand and walked into heaven on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 after several years of declining health.  Jo was the daughter of Jeff J. and Lois Ballard Whitt.  She was born and raised in the Upper Laurel section of Madison County.  She was the youngest of five children and grew up surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins.  She graduated from Mars Hill High School in 1959 and attended Eastern Tennessee State University for one semester.  In the Spring of 1960, she moved back to NC and took a job at American Enka Company.   After working there for several months, she met her future husband, Bill Garrison.  After a quick courtship, they were married December 23, 1961 at Bell United Methodist Church in Leicester, NC.  Jo and Bill lived with her parents on their farm in Leicester, NC for several years before relocating to Weaverville where they remained for the rest of their lives.  They lived next door to Bill’s mom, Mary O’Neil Garrison, whom she loved like a mother.

While at Mars Hill High, Jo began her bus driving career.  For 29 years, Jo drove in both Madison and Buncombe counties while maintaining a spotless driving record.  She was proud to proclaim that in 29 years “she never put a dent or a scratch on a school bus”.  She said “When those kids got on my bus in the morning, they were my responsibility until I got them safely home that night”.  Her devotion to driving was recognized in 2002 when the Mayor of Weaverville proclaimed it Jo Garrison Day.  This retirement event was attended by many friends and family.   In addition to driving, Jo also worked as a teacher’s aide at Weaverville Elementary and in the school cafeteria.  This allowed her to be close to her children. For several years, Jo also worked at Shaw Industries, a local carpet manufacturing plant in which she worked 12 hour night shifts and drove the school bus by day. Jo practiced her faith in her everyday life as her parents had taught her.  She was a member of Boyd’s Union Chapel Church in Weaverville for many years and was very active.

Jo grew up very athletic where she started for four years at the forward position on the Mars Hill High School varsity basketball team.  Her coach referred to her as “Big Whitt”.  She also played softball in a women’s league in Weaverville for a number of years where her bat and strong throwing arm were renowned.  She was a wonderful homemaker, kept a clean house and was taught to cook by her mother-one of the all-time greats. She attended as many games as her son and daughter had and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of them.

Jo is survived by her children, Jeff and Leisa (Shawn Stirewalt) of Weaverville.  She is also survived by one sister, Ella Zene Wells (Harry) of Johnson City, TN, one sister in law, Sharon Phillips (Edwin) of Weaverville, fourteen nieces and nephews and many dear, dear friends.  She is also survived by the joys of her life, grandsons Wil Garrison (Junior at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA) and Ben Garrison (Freshman at University of North Georgia in Athens, GA). Preceding her in death was her husband of 39 years, Bill Garrison, her parents Jeff & Lois Ballard Whitt, her mother-in-law Mary O’Neil Garrison, two brothers, Vance Whitt (Irene) and Jack Whitt (Peggy); and one sister, Mary Ball (Joe).

A celebration of her life will be held at 11am on Saturday, March 30 at West Funeral Home Chapel in Weaverville.  The family will receive friends beginning at 9:30 am until the service at 11:00 am.  Christian burial will be at West Memorial Park in Weaverville next to her beloved husband.  She died as she lived- a Christian.

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 30, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

West Family Funeral Services

17 Merrimon Ave, Weaverville, NC 28787

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 30, 2024

11:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

West Family Funeral Services

17 Merrimon Ave, Weaverville, NC 28787

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Saturday, March 30, 2024

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