Cover photo for Jo Ann Surratt's Obituary
Jo Ann Surratt Profile Photo
1946 Jo 2021

Jo Ann Surratt

August 19, 1946 — March 25, 2021

Jo Ann Freeman Surratt, 74, of Bessemer City, NC, passed away Thursday March 25.

Jo Ann was born 19 August 1946, in Shelby, North Carolina, to the late Boyce and Estelle Hall Freeman of Shelby.  She graduated from Shelby High School in 1964 and went on to attend Appalachian State University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Spanish in 1975. Jo Ann taught Spanish at Burns High School in Lawndale, NC for more than 30 years. She also taught Spanish, Genealogy, and Local History at Cleveland Community College. Jo Ann was recognized by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 1992, and retired from teaching in 2008. She moved to Bessemer City in 2012.

Jo Ann is survived by her sister Elizabeth Hill; her grandchildren Brandy Henderson and Alex Surratt; three great-grandchildren, Evangeline, Marie, and Mikey; four nieces, Mary Strom (Christopher), Jennifer Carothers (Richard), Leslie Hall (Keith), and Eleanor Howard (Danny); two nephews, Matthew Anderson (Irena), and Paul Anderson (Sherry); and numerous great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Margaret Freeman Anderson; her son Michael Eugene Surratt; and her nephew Mark Anderson.

Jo Ann was an accomplished Genealogist, and was a member of Broad River Genealogical Society, serving as President and Editor of the Society’s bulletin for many years.

Jo Ann was an active member of Shelby’s First Baptist Church her entire life, and began interpreting the Sunday Service for the hearing impaired in the 1970’s.

Jo Ann was a teacher, a writer, a calligrapher, an artist, a pianist, and a friend. She was well loved by many: her students, family, and friends.

A celebration of Ms. Surratt’s life will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday May 8th, 2021 at Sunset Cemetery, 412 W. Sumter Street, Shelby, NC 28150. The Reverend Tony Tench from First Baptist Church of Shelby will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Broad River Genealogical Society, 1145 County Home Rd, Shelby, NC 28152.

To sign the guest book, please go to

A service of Cleveland Funeral Services & Crematory, Inc.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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