The Oklahoman

Jo Ann DeShazo Steffen


Jo Ann DeShazo Steffen, passed away on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the age of 69. She was born in 1951, to Joe Preston DeShazo and Nancy Tanaka in Yokohama, Japan. After Jo Ann graduated from Wellston High School in 1970, she went on to study Education at the University of Oklahoma.

She began her teaching career at Choctaw Middle School in Choctaw, OK. After graduating with a Master’s degree, Jo Ann went on to teach at Georgia Southern University and Charter Conservato­ry for Liberal Arts and Technology (CCAT) in Statesboro, GA. She was a passionate, dedicated, award-winning teacher who inspired many of her students. Jo Ann was an excellent writer who published poems and short stories. She was a speaker at numerous writing conference­s and an active member of the Georgia Writing Project.

Jo Ann retired and enjoyed reading, writing, crafting, volunteeri­ng, and spending time with her family.

Jo Ann is survived by her mother, Nancy Tanaka; her longtime companion, George “Terry” Johnson; sister, Betty DeShazo, sister, Barbara Smith and brother-in-law Garry, sister, Jodie Johnston and brother-in-law Mike; step-brother, Art Tanaka and Faye Cardle, step-brother, Kenny Tanaka and sister-in-law Suzanne; her daughter, Stephanie and husband Wesley Moore, daughter, Carrie Roberts, and son, Sean Steffen; and her four grandchild­ren, Jacob, Caitlin, Colby, and Ashley; and nieces and nephews, Trica, Kasey, Chelsey, Tyler, Danyel, Taryn, Dylan, Sydney, Abbey, and Katey. Jo Ann joins her father, Joe Preston DeShazo; and step-brother, Steve Tanaka who preceded her in death.

Services will be held at Emmaus Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on October 22, 2021, at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Alzheimer’s Associatio­n.­en

To share a memory or leave a condolence, please visit www.carterogle­

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