Ina Jo Grady, our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and teacher, passed away in her sleep on March 24, 2013. She was 91 years young. Jo was born on Dec. 20, 1921, in Pike County, Arkansas, where she was also raised.
After a year of college, at age 18, she began her teaching profession by teaching a first, second, and third grade class for the same school district she graduated from the year before. At 5'1", she also coached the high school basketball teams.
After the death of her husband, Hercle in 1959, she returned to college and earned her teaching degree. She taught in Arkansas elementary schools for four years.
Then in 1966, after interviewing over the phone and being hired, Jo came to Blythe and the Palo Verde Unified School District. She taught third grade at Felix J. Appleby Elementary School from 1966-1990. Her students were a source of great pride for Jo.
From her retirement until her death, you could find her around town speaking to her former students or walking up to them asking, "Didn't I have you in class?" She had an uncanny ability to recognize "her kids." Soon after retirement from teaching she learned she had breast cancer, which she not only survived, but inspired her for her next chapter in life of helping others survive cancer. She began working with cancer support groups with fundraising and direct assistance to cancer patients. Cancer found a true enemy in Ina Jo Grady.
Jo is survived by her son, Bob Grady (Juanita) of Blythe; five grand and step-grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by hundreds of elementary children who she considered her children.
There will be a memorial service for Jo on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Frye Chapel, 633 N. 7th St., Blythe. She will be buried in Glenwood, Arkansas at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a cancer or Alzheimer's charity of your choice.