JoAnn Eleanor Gilley was born Dec. 14, 1949, in Munich, Germany, to Lewis C. “Casey” Jones and Lina P. Piccini.

JoAnn Eleanor Gilley was born Dec. 14, 1949, in Munich, Germany, to Lewis C. “Casey” Jones and Lina P. Piccini.

JoAnn was raised in a military family living in Chaumont, France, and Plattsburgh, New York. The Joneses returned to Casey’s hometown of Shawnee in the mid-1960s where JoAnn attended St. Benedict’s High School and then Shawnee High School.

JoAnn met Gary W. Gilley in high school and they were married April 6, 1968.

Gary, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, was stationed at bases in Florida and Texas. They returned to Shawnee in 1973 and JoAnn began working as an operator and later a service manager at Southwestern Bell in downtown Shawnee. In the mid-1980s JoAnn began a second career as the executive assistant to Generals Silverthorn and Archer with the U.S. Army 95th Division Reserves, where she served soldiers and families for nearly 20 years. After retiring, JoAnn took up the cause of disabled veterans with a particular focus on Vietnam vets. She provided research and advice to veterans seeking disability recognition from Veterans Affairs. JoAnn was also an award-winning quilter and always said, “Everyone should have a quilt.”

She was a member of the local quilting club, “Spinning Spools,” and a founding member the “Outlaws” quilt group.

JoAnn is survived by her husband Gary and their two children, Dr. Brian Gilley and Jennifer Gilley Brooks. JoAnn has four grandchildren, Aurianna Gilley, Tansy Brooks, Parker Gilley and Joseph Gilley. She is also survived by a brother Lewis Jones and sister Jenny Adkison as well as multiple nieces and nephews. She has extensive family in Florence, Italy, her mother’s birthplace.

JoAnn was 69 years old at the time of her passing on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Shawnee.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Pottawatomie County Free Health Clinic and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, at Cooper Funeral Home.

Service will be noon, Friday, Jan. 18, at Cooper Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery under the direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh.

To share memories, or to sign the guestbook online, go to www.cooperfuneral.com.