Obituary of Jo Annis McInnis Rhodes


Jo Annis McInnis Rhodes, born Oct. 10, 1934, Methodist Hospital, Hattiesburg, MS, died October 1, 2018, at home, Niagara Falls, New York.

“Everywhere You Go, Sunshine Follows You” was the song chosen – appropriately – to characterize Jo Annis McInnis, graduating senior, in the 1953 Hattiesburg High “Lil’ Miss” yearbook. Optimistic and positive, Jo Annis lived a happy life. She was motivated by faith, family. Friends and the Golden Rule. Hers was a loving family of supportive parents, Margaret (“Sally”) Creel and Joe K. McInnis Jr. and grandparents, Florence Croom and J. Hampton (“Doc”) Creel and Rachel Gadsby and Joe K. McInnis Sr. The doors to 304 2nd Avenue were always open to your people.

Following 1957 graduation from Mississippi Southern College, Jo Annis moved to Niagara Falls, N.Y. and pursued a career in recreation and physical education with emphasis on teaching swimming and water safety.

Social “mixing and mingling” was one of her joys. She was a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, College Club, Riverside Presbyterian Church, Gourmet Group and other organizations. She sent scores of greeting cards. Moreover, she celebrated every holiday and special occasion with thematic decorations, food and entertainment. Flowers, travel and tasteful living inspired her.

Rodney Scott Rhodes of Niagara Falls and Jo Annis were married in Hattiesburg’s Main Street First Presbyterian Church in December 1959. He survived her but passed away July 27, 2019. A memorial service will be held for him in Niagara Falls at a future date.

Survivors include daughters, Catherine Scott Sullivan of Lewiston, N.Y., and Margaret Hervey Rhodes; grandchildren, Rachel and Laura; great-grandchildren, Ava, Vencenzo, Valentina, Chance David and Adrianna, all of Niagara Falls; brother, James Edward McInnis, first-cousin, Ned (Mary Deane) McInnis and extended family member, Jim Jarvis, all of Hattiesburg.

Jo Annis resided in Niagara Falls for any years,but Hattiesburg was always home. Her heritage included generations of Mississippians from pioneer days to the present.

A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 9, 2019, at Oaklawn Cemetery with the Rev. Luther Ott officiating. A memory gathering will follow.

Arrangements by Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home.