Joann Groom, 84, passed away peacefully after church on February 9, 2020, at the Kemp Care Center in Kemp, Texas. Jody was born on April 18, 1935, in Dallas, Texas, to the home of John Henry and Rose Inez Neighbors. She was also known as Jo and Texas Red.
She graduated from Mabank High School in 1954, where she was involved in drama. Forgetting lines during plays often led to hilarious improvising until she reconnected to the script. Over the years, she worked at Texas Instruments, set sales records at Weirs Furniture in Dallas, and several 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. Jody was passionate about her family, her faith, and people. She had a hankering for children, people of all color, and often, complete strangers, even hitch-hikers. She 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 mission 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.
Jody is survived by a son Mark Warde, of Ennis; daughter Karen Williams of Terrell; and sister LaVerne Morton of Eustace; six adult grandchildren Joshua Cavanaugh of Plano, Matthew Warde of Savannah, GA, David Cavanaugh of Crandall, Jonathan Cavanaugh of Rockwall, Kristin Warde of Dallas, and Sara Victoria Cavanaugh of Terrell; five great-grandchildren Gavin Warde, Leland Warde, and Caden Warde of Savannah, GA, Jillian Cavanaugh of Rockwall, and Jacob Cavanaugh of Crandall.
Jody is preceded in death by eight of her ten siblings Lewis Neighbors, Pat Neighbors, Dorothy Thane, Alice Hamilton, Morris Boyd Butch Neighbors, Jerry Neighbors, Christine Lewis and Linda Brown; and her parents.