By Jan Rahn
Very surprised, very pleased was Jo McCormick’s reaction to being picked as Perkins County’s Good Neighbor during the fair this week.
Jo immediately praised her family for their support which allowed her to accomplish the many things she did.
“I have a supportive family,” she said. “Or I couldn’t have done all the things I’ve done all those years.”
A testament to that is her recent move to Madrid to live with her daughter Angela Hansen and husband Spencer and children Zaybreon and Zoe.
Other members of Jo’s family are son Bryan and wife Cheri McCormick of Grant whose children are Wynn, Connor, Taylor and husband James and daughter Addison.
Her daughter Rhonda and husband Tom Perlinger live in Highlands Ranch, Colo. They have a teenage daughter Christina.
Son Kyle McCormick lives in Ogallala with son Jordan who will enter high school this fall.
Jo’s other daughters are Suzanne McCormick of North Platte whose son Zachary White is attending Chadron State College, and Rachelle and husband Steve Gaston of Madrid whose sons are Austin and Eli.
Jo loves to write—she has been a regular contributer to the Tribune with her column, Cogitation, which was started in August 2011.
As a resident of Perkins County for nearly 55 years, she has lots of fun memories to tell about.
“I was imported to Perkins County on Jan. 17, 1959 by a guy named Jerry (Jug) whom I had just married,” said Jo. “When a son promises his mom he will be married by age 25, and Jan. 18 is your 25th birthday, a guy has got to do what a guy has got to do!” quipped Jo. That’s an example of her humor and realism. Jerry passed away in 2001. Jo said they had many eventful years in numerous venues, joking about raising their youngest three on bleachers.
She also likes reading and scrap crafting. Her interests include family, friends, state, country, and the Kingdom.
The nomination letter for Jo McCormick as Good Neighbor states, “She spent her time at Golden Ours doing, basically, one thing—using the tools of friendships made and friendships remembered, stories of days gone by, concentrating on comforting passages dealing with forgiveness and mercy, and the value of every human life, helping those coming into the facility.”
Jo’s career years were at Golden Ours Convalescent Home (GOCH) where she was first hired by Administrator Squeak Eckberg as a nurses aide in 1966. She was approached in 1972 by Administrator Mark Shallenbarger to start an activity program. Jo served as activity director for 16 of her 29-plus years with GOCH.
“My life has been better than I probably deserved, the county has provided a good home and employment, my family has been terrific, and we have weathered together what we needed to,” said Jo. “It is with much humility that I graciously accept this ‘so unexpected award.’ God’s grace has made it happen for me, and I pray He will bless you too,” she said.
The Good Neighbor Award is sponsored by The Grant Tribune-Sentinel and the Preceptor Alpha Psi chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. As in the past, a plaque and Chamber Greenbacks will be presented to this year’s recipient.