Hazel Jo Childers
December 13, 1934 – January 16, 2023
God chose to send down an angel on December 13th, 1934. Those of us lucky enough to know her called her “Jo”, “Mom” and “Nana”. After 88 years of sharing her with us, God chose to call her home on January 16th, 2023.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to so many. Throughout her lifetime she touched the lives of hundreds with her love, her selfless giving spirit and her unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior. She inspired us with the stories of her childhood, growing up in southern Missouri picking cotton at a young age to help pay family bills. But even more amazing, Jo worked her way through school, becoming a Respiratory Therapist and eventually taking over as Director of Pulmonary Physiology for Baptist Hospital before retiring after 35 years.
Many might remember that she was “famous” for a lot of things including being both a beauty queen and star basketball player; learning to swim at the tender age of 52 which laughingly inspired her into her love of pressure washing EMPTY pools at Childrens’ Church Camps while they were missionary Sojourners. She also must have set a record for Poppyseed Chicken dinners distributed in the South to those in need. But those who knew her best remember her amazing poetry that has been shared with hundreds at Women’s Christian events, the inspiration she drew from sitting by the ocean and most of all, her favorite…walking in the rain.
And all it would take is a stroll through their picture-filled home to realize how much she cherished her kids, grandkids and great-grandchild. She was an angel that gave of herself daily and impacted so many, living the Christian example that the Lord put her here to share, even in the missionary fields of Guyana. Though she has now rejoined the Angels in heaven, we can all only say a prayer of thanks that we were blessed to know her and be touched by her love.
She is preceded in death by her father, Henry Osco White and her mother, Mattie Bell Hollingsworth White. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, James “Buddy” Childers whom she adored; She was “Mom” to three children: James “Jim” Childers, daughter Patti Ford (husband Tracy Ford) and Gary Childers (wife, Chris Papenhagen). She was also “Nana” to eight Grandchildren – Kelsy, Katie, Savannah, Abby, Wynter, Brady, Isaiah and Journey and a great-grandson, Kooper. She is also survived by her sister, Jenny Udouj and husband, Reginald “Reg” along with other cherished family members and in-laws.
Because Jo didn’t want to “impose” on others with an afternoon of tears, she requested a small family graveside service in Steele, MO where she will be laid near her father and mother. Although she loved flowers, in lieu, she asked that donations be made to the Mt. Dora Children’s Home and Christian School, options for giving listed below.
Checks can be mailed to:
Mount Dora Children’s home
Attn: Kathy Pruitt.
301 West 13th Ave
Mount Dora, FL 32757
Or donations can be made at https://www.mdchome.org/give/honor-and-memorial-gifts