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Joanne 'Jody' Groom

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Joanne 'Jody' Groom

Joanne “Jody” Groom, 83, died peacefully after church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Kemp Care Center in Kemp, Texas. She was also known as Jo and Texas Red.

She is survived by a son, Mark Warde, 63, of Ennis, and daughter, Karen Williams, 61, of Terrell, and a sister, LaVerne Morton, of Eustace. She was preceded in death by eight of her 10 siblings; Lewis Neighbors, Pat Neighbors, Dorothy Thane, Alice Hamilton, Morris Boyd Butch Neighbors, Jerry Neighbors, Christine Lewis and Linda Brown and Joanne’s parents, John Henry and Inez Neighbors.

Jody was born on April 18, 1935, in Dallas. She graduated in 1954 from Mabank High School, where she was involved in drama. Forgetting lines during plays often led to hilarious improv until she reconnected to the script. Over the years she worked at Texas Instruments, and set sales records at Weirs Furniture in Dallas, and a number of places where her considerable social skills, humor and work ethic shone brightly. She was married thrice, to James Warde, the late Bob Whitener, and Virgil Snooks Groom.

She has six adult grandchildren: Joshua Cavanaugh (Plano), Matthew Warde (Savannah, Ga), David Cavanaugh (Crandall), Jonathan Cavanaugh (Rockwall), Kristin Warde (Dallas) and Sara Victoria Cavanaugh (Terrell). There are five great-grandchildren; Gavin Warde, Leeland Warde and Caden Warde (Savannah, Ga), Jillian Cavanaugh (Rockwall) and Jacob Cavanaugh (Crandall).

Jody was passionate about her family, her faith and people. She had a hankering for children, people of all colors, and often – complete strangers, even hitch-hikers. Jody was fearless and peerless. She attended Gospel Lighthouse Church in Dallas for years and was a very active member at Cedar Creek Church of God in Gun Barrel City. Jesus was evident in her daily life as was her love for Scripture.

Strong-willed and being conservative, she was no pushover. Her heart for making a difference in people’s lives propelled her to cook on missions trips and serve wherever she found an opportunity. Through it all her Lucille Ball-colored hair, her creative flair and effervescent personality made her one unique person. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her. One post on Facebook, from New York, said the world is now a bit less-red.

Funeral services are on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. at Cedar Creek Church of God, 142 Rodney Dr., in Gun Barrel City 75156. A graveside ceremony will follow. Prior to the actual funeral, a viewing and meal will be available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pastor Glenn Dyson will officiate.