Jo Carson

Jo Carson

Jo Carson, 86, of Monticello, died suddenly on August 27, 2015 in Monticello.

Josephine Patricia Reginelli was born March 9, 1929, on the family farm in Lake Village. She was the daughter of Silvano and Rosa Marcellini Reginelli, immigrants from Le Marche, Italy. She attended St. Mary’s school through the eight grade, then Lakeside High School where she graduated in 1946.

On Christmas Day of 1947 she married William M. “Billy” Carson of Monticello in Lake Village. They were married for 67 years until his death February 12, 2015. They raised five children: William Michael, Susan Jo, Patricia Ann, John Phillip, and Lisa Marie. She should have been awarded a doctorate in child care for her efforts. She was home room mother at WC Whaley elementary for all her children. She was Den Mother for Cub Scouts, and helped with the Girl Scouts, and was very active with the Monticello swimming team.

She worked as a telephone operator at Southwestern Bell in both Lake Village and Monticello. After the children were out of school, she worked as a clerk and a buyer for Carson’s Clothing Store. She greatly enjoyed going to markets to shop for new lines of clothing. She was a life member of the Monticello Junior Auxiliary, serving as secretary and corresponding secretary. She played in two bridge clubs with her wonderful lady friends for nearly 40 years.

Jo and Billy went to Munich, Germany, in 1981 to visit their son and daughter in law and spent nearly a month traveling in Europe, visiting relatives in Italy and friends in Paris. This trip of a lifetime sparked a keen interest in travel. They were fortunate to be able to travel after Billy’s retirement, taking cruises and road trips with Ervin and Marie Jones. They returned to Italy twice, once having an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

Once a month as the children grew up, the family would get up early and go to Nona’s farm in Lake Village. These trips are fondly remembered by the entire family. Mother would always go to church. There were only three Catholics in Monticello when she married, and no church. Later, she began to drive every Sunday to St. Luke’s, a small new church in Warren. She taught catechism and her home was used by Benedictine nuns for religious education classes Saturday mornings 1960-1971. She worked tirelessly to establish and build St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Monticello. One of her happiest moments was burning the loan papers in the “paying off the church mortgage” ceremony.

She loved her home and watching the critters in her big backyard. She loved cooking feasts for her big family. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She devoted her life to her husband and family, her church, and her community. She lived her life with a great faith, optimism, and joy.

She was the widow of Billy Carson and also preceded in death by her parents, four sisters and two brothers. She is survived by a sister Marie Jones and a brother Phillip Reginelli, and by her five children and their respective spouses: Susan Baum, Johnny Adkins, Keith Williams, Sheri Carson, and Robbie Gibson, and by six grandchildren: Michael Adkins and wife Meredith, Kate Adkins, Joseph Engelkes, John David Carson and wife Courtney, Jason Carson, Anna Gibson, and by one great-grandchild, Chase William Carson.

A rosary and memorial services celebrating her life will be held at St Mark’s Catholic Church in Monticello. Date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the St Mark’s Catholic Church Building Fund, the Glenmary Missions, or the Arkansas Hospice Foundation.

Arrangements by Stephenson-Dearman.