HORNELL – Jo Ann (Ray) Wulforst, age 85, departed this life Friday (November 5, 2021). She passed peacefully surrounded by family.
Jo Ann was born on September 9, 1936 in Sunbury, PA. The daughter of Ben & Doris (Wilson) Ray. At age 5 Jo Ann moved to Canisteo to live with her grandparents Ora & Coral Wilson and attend school.
Jo Ann graduated from Canisteo Central School in 1954. Jo Ann worked a year at the Evening Tribune as a bookkeeper machine operator before she went to work for the USDA Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service (Bath, NY) in 1956. She worked there for 20 years until 1976. Jo Ann then attended & graduated from the BOCES LPN program in 1978. Following graduation, she went to work for the Steuben County Public Health Nursing Service as an in-home health aid and retired in 1998. Jo Ann then kept busy working for the town of Hornellsville as Deputy Town Clerk until 2004. She also worked for the Hornell & Canisteo-Greenwood School systems as a substitute nurse until 2017.
Jo Ann was a member of the St. Ann’s Mothers Club while her 4 children attended St. Ann’s School. She served as den mother for the Cub Scouts, a member of the Ladies of Columbus, and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Jo Ann was an animal lover, an avid gardener, amateur bird watcher, an excellent baker, and one-time Grasshopper youth baseball coach. There was never a time where Jo Ann didn’t have at least one pet, most of which she took in as strays or rescues. If you stopped in to see her there was a very good chance you would find her in the backyard tending to her garden or sitting on the porch swing overseeing her “paradise”. When not tending to her garden or animals, “Grandma” was probably making wonderful baked treats with & for the enjoyment of her children & grandchildren. The holidays this year will be missing her special touch and love of the season.
Jo Ann will be remembered as a wife, mom, sister, aunt, and grandma and as someone who was always there to share stories and the latest gossip, the “latest treasure” she found at the Salvation Army, or simply a cup of coffee. There’s not a season that will pass where you won’t be reminded of her. Thanksgiving/Christmas brought ornaments & decorating, pumpkin pie, cheesecake and popcorn balls. “Berry picking” season brought home made jelly/jam. Spring & summer brought the flowers she’d dig out of her own garden for you to re-plant in yours. The birds of Webbs Crossing Road were well fed all year round. Baseball & football season she’d stay current with the Yankees, and in recent years The Ohio State. Although she is gone, she’ll always be with us as we think of great memories and shed a few tears. Thanks Mom!
Jo Ann is survived by her four children, Michael (Charlene) of East Islip, NY (Brenndan, Anna, Patrick, Eva), Michelle (James Wancha, Jr.) of Olympia, WA (Ashley), Matthew of Hornell, and Andrew (Amy Amphlett) of Rochester, NY (Noah, Ella); her brother Walter Alan Ray (Carol) of Canisteo, two sisters Patti Ordway (Mike) of Hornell, Betty Lou Charles (Robert) of Canisteo, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband John, her parents Doris & Ben, two sisters (Terry Brown & Peggy Stewart), and three brothers (Robert L., Benjamin O., & Richard L.).
Calling hours are 4-6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 11, 2021) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Relatives and friends are invited to join her family at St. Ann’s Church, 31 Erie Ave., Hornell where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in her memory at 10 a.m. Friday (Nov. 12, 2021).
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to either the Hornell Area Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell or to St. Ann’s Academy, P.O. Box 446, Hornell, NY 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home and church.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. is honored to assist Jo Ann’s family with the arrangements.
Online condolences or remembrances of Jo Ann are welcome at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.