She was born Jo Ellen Rhodes on July 9, 1933, in Spencer, West Virginia, grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, and graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, Class of 1955. At Marshall, her beauty and dancing skills made her much in demand as a partner whenever the jukebox was fired up.
After graduation, she moved to Elyria, where she taught high school Latin and English. In Elyria, a friend introduced her to a handsome real estate salesman, Ramon J. Rumpler, whom she married on April 13, 1957.
In 1979 they returned to West Virginia, where Jo Ellen began a new career as an executive director of county senior services, first in Spencer, then in Clarksburg, where she led the organizations to financial stability. She retired in 2000.
After Ray died November 19, 2011, following a lengthy illness, she moved to Maine to be near her daughter. Exactly one year after losing her husband, her hip broke.
Jo Ellen was an avid reader of history, especially the Civil War, and mystery novels, was a wicked good bridge player, and had a sharp wit and phenomenal memory. She loved her 1918 home in Clarksburg.
She is survived by her daughter, Holly Rahmlow and son-in-law, Don, of Readfield, Maine; son, Donald Jay Rumpler of Akron; sister, Lou Ann Starkey of Akron; brother, Dennis Rhodes of Charleston, West Virginia; brother-in-law, Ronald Rumpler, and his wife, Beverly of Huron; two sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Rumpler of Ohio and Joan Rumpler of California; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins, including her special favorite childhood playmate, cousin Deane Wright and his wife, Reva, of Spencer, West Virginia.