Cover photo for Jo Anne Godwin's Obituary
Jo Anne Godwin Profile Photo
1930 Jo Anne 2023

Jo Anne Godwin

April 30, 1930 — March 28, 2023

Jo Anne Godwin, age 92, activist for social justice, advocate for children, and lifelong adventurer, took her last breath on March 28, 2023. Her husband of 65 years, Thad, was at her side.

Jo Anne grew up in Mississippi where she graduated from Millsaps College. She then attended the Masters of Social Work program at Tulane, where she met the love of her life, Thad Godwin. They married April 17, 1957. Jo Anne later completed her Master of Social Work at UGA while raising her three sons.

Jo Anne's career in child welfare started in Jacksonville, FL in the early 60's. Her entire career was focused on the welfare of children specifically advocating for children with disabilities. This work led her to a position as the Chief of Foster Care for the State of Georgia from which she retired in 1990.

Her passion for social justice was a lifelong calling. She contributed time and energy to women's rights, and to the elimination of poverty and hunger. She was an active leader and Elder at both North Decatur Presbyterian Church and Townville Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. Jo Anne firmly believed in equality for all. She lived out John Lewis' "Good Trouble" at home, work, church and in all aspects of her life. Consistent with her interest in children Jo Anne also was a successful longtime soccer Co-Coach with Thad through the Decatur-DeKalb YMCA.

After retirement, Jo Anne and Thad traveled the world, making many new friends, enjoying fine food, and delighting in cheap, fine wine! They spent their retirement years at their home at Lake Hartwell where they loved entertaining and sharing the lake with family and friends from all walks of life. Jo Anne cherished these years and those memories.

Jo Anne is predeceased by her mother, Ada Weisinger and her brother, Robert Weisinger. She is survived by her husband Thad, her sons Scott (Whitney), Rusty (Sherri), and Brad (Sally). She is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Her Life is scheduled for April 30, 2023 (Jo Anne's 93rd birthday) at 3:00 pm at North Decatur Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to North Decatur Presbyterian Church or to Our House, an agency providing stability for families experiencing homelessness. (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jo Anne Godwin, please visit our flower store.


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