Jo Wood

Jo (Josephine Ida) Wood passed away at Wabash Parkview Hospital at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017. 

She was born to George W. and Jemus (Currence) Sonda on Nov. 14, 1931, in Wheeling W.Va.  Her family moved to Wabash in 1944 when her father bought a greenhouse on the south side of Wabash.  A few years later Sonda's opened their first retail shop at 1 W. Canal St. in Wabash.  Jo and her brother were made co-owners alongside their parents.  While involved with Sonda's Flowers and Gifts, Jo designed and created many bridal bouquets, special occasion flowers and thousands of other bouquets.

She was also heavily involved with her community during these years being an active member of such organizations as B.&P.W., Altrusa, Optimist Club, Toastmasters, Woman's Clubhouse, and Order of the Eastern Star among others.  She was especially proud of the fact that after being president of the Retail Division of the Wabash Chamber of Commerce, she was named the first woman president of the entire Chamber. She was also proud of the fact that she was involved with local Girl Scouts, first as a leader of active Brownie and Junior troops and then at the county and council levels.  As the Wabash County Chair, Jo planned the first All-County Campout at Camp Kokiwanee, which was attended by nearly 300 Scouts from Wabash County.  It was the largest number of Scouts ever hosted by the camp at one time.

Jo parted with Sonda's in 1976 and opened her own business, Wood’s Flower and Craft Hut, in 1978.  Many tears were shed and hurdles overcome as Jo learned to paint first with oils, then other mediums and techniques as she continued creatively with flower arranging.  When Jo's husband, Richard (whom she married on Sept. 14, 1952, at the Wabash Presbyterian Church) retired, they traveled, and Jo retired as a florist.  Jo and her husband traveled to the Caribbean islands and Alaska multiple times, but they also traveled to such places as Norway, England, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Chili, Holland, Israel, China, and Russia; they even went zip-lining while in Costa Rica.

Jo also enjoyed teaching painting classes for many years.

Jo is survived by her daughter, Joyce (David) DeVore, Wabash; grandsons Michael (Tina) Bickford and David (Amy) Bickford and great-granddaughters Arabella, Abigail and Emma, all of Florida.  She was preceded in death by her husband Richard (Dick) Wood and her brother, John.

Jo chose to not have any services, preferring to be remembered as she was in life.  Her family asks that if anyone chooses to make a donation in her honor that contributions be made to the Wabash Woman's Clubhouse for its Back Porch Fund, 770 W. Hill Street, Wabash IN 46992.


Posted on 2017 Jun 22