Jo Ellen Heller


Jo Ellen Heller

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Jo Ellen Heller

Jo Ellen Heller, born on June 15, 1934 in Piedmont, S.C., passed peacefully January 31, 2020 at her home in Fernandina Beach surrounded by family. She was 85 years old.

Jo was devoted to her family, a Navy wife who accompanied her husband to duty stations around the United States and Puerto Rico. After raising her children and settling in Fernandina Beach, she became a mental health advocate and activist, working tirelessly to help pass legislation for self-directed care in Florida. Jo was a founding member of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) of Nassau County. A respite house in Fernandina Beach was named “The Jo Heller House” in her honor.

She leaves behind her husband of 69 years, James Theron Heller; her son, Michael S. Heller and his wife, Deretha; son, James D. Heller and daughter, Cynthia Heller Pennington; daughter, Andrea L. Heller (deceased); her grandchildren, Micah S. Heller and his wife, Danielle, Megan S. Langan and her husband, Josh, Nathan G. Pennington, and Ashley J. Pennington; and six beautiful great-grandchildren of whom she was inordinately proud, as well as several great-grand dogs and cats.

Please join us in a celebration of Jo’s life at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at The Outreach Center, Journey Church, 95707 Amelia Concourse, Fernandina Beach.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to NAMI Nassau County.

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Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors