Effingham NH – Words are not enough to describe the sadness of family and friends over the loss of Jo-ann Thompson Ames, who passed away in the early morning hours of October 8, 2019. She was 67 years old; arriving into the world on December 21, 1951, the youngest of four children born to Herbert Edward and Florence Elizabeth (Bailey) Thompson of Effingham. She lived all her life on Pine River Road in Effingham, greatly enjoying the many road trips to various points of interest with her husband, Alan Ames, whom she married in August of 1969.
Growing up, Jo-ann attended Sunday school classes at the First Congregational Church in Center Ossipee, and attended Ossipee Central. Not only was she a great student, but while attending high school at the newly built Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro (Class of 1969), Jo-ann quickly made a name for herself in athletics. Her standout abilities on the basketball court and the softball field earned her recognition as 1969’s Female Athlete of the Year. Her interest in sports continued all her life; playing softball on a women’s team in her twenties with her sister in law, Melanie. She also took on the role of coach, helping lead a tough and talented group of 7-9th grade girls from Center Ossipee through an undefeated basketball season and coached her daughter’s grade school basketball and softball teams. She was a passionate Boston Celtics fan, always drawing her chair up closely to the television for each game to see what could be improved upon (she and Tommy Heinsohn agreed on a lot of things). A few years ago, Alan surprised her with tickets to a game at “The Garden”, where she was lucky enough to catch Paul Pierce’s sweaty post-game towel that he threw into the crowd; she was thrilled!
A stay at home mom while her children were young, she babysat and taught preschool with her sister in law Connie at the Ossipee town hall, which interestingly was built by her grandfather, John G. Thompson. Jo-ann eventually went to work at Ossipee Concerned Citizens, initially for the Fuel Assistance and Family Planning Programs, and then as Program Manager for the WIC (Women Infants and Children) Program. When the program was relocated to Somersworth in 2011, she was immediately retained by the new agency, Goodwin Community Health, who appreciated the benefit of her knowledge and experience. She earned great love and respect from staff and clients at both agencies, sharing many special relationships; her service to the communities spanning 40 years.
She was a true animal lover and her interest in nature was evident around her home, with bird feeders hanging from tree limbs; annuals and perennials blooming alternately in a variety of colors throughout the seasons in her yard.
In a way, Jo-ann was a woman of opposites. Tough but sensitive, intelligent yet humble, a bit shy but entertaining, and extremely private with a public image. Emotional times like these can sometimes embellish the character of a person, but Jo-ann would be uncomfortable with anything other than the truth.
Predeceased by her mother, Florence, in 1987, and her father, Herbert, in 2010, surviving family members include her siblings, John Thompson (Connie) of Water Village, Jim Thompson (Melanie) and Jane Nudd (Wallace “Curly”) of Effingham, her husband, Alan Ames of Effingham, her son, Derek Ames (Stephanie Beckwith), of Ossipee, her daughter, Tracy Ames (Jeff Colvard), of Tamworth, her four granddaughters, Ashley Hayford (Timothy) and Allison Frost (Ethan), of Ossipee, and Morgan Colvard (Christian Nestell) and Katie Colvard, of Tamworth, her five great-grandchildren, Mallory and Josie Hayford, and Bristol, Everly, and (finally a boy, born 12 days before her passing) Sawyer Frost, her sister in law, Sue Rose (Peter) of New Durham, in addition to several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Nothing was more significant or rewarding to Jo-ann than her family and the joyful times spent with them. Birthday parties and holidays (with way too much food and way too many gifts), sporting events, the annual trek “down back” in search of perfect Christmas trees, family bingo games, and summers spent at “Camp”—swimming and cookouts, sunrises, and stargazing from the porch…just a sampling of family traditions that meant so much to her. Bright and powerful memories will sustain us all. The seeds that she planted in us will continue to grow. And we will remember forever the importance of love of family, and a license plate that reads “G-Jo”. During the hardest of times, she would often say, “You just can’t make this up.” And we didn’t.
We invite you to join us for a candlelight service celebrating Jo-ann’s life on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 6pm at the Chocorua Community Church, 40 Deer Hill Rd, Chocorua NH. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County, PO Box 432, North Conway NH 03860. The family is truly grateful for the support they received; special heartfelt thanks to Kelly Peckham, Julie Lanoie, Martha Armington, Francesca Priestman, Rachel Vose and “the outlaw” Mary Edes.
If you wish express a condolence or leave a fond memory please visit, www.lordfuneralhome.com,
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