Citywalk News for December

Jo Ann Bordeleau wore many hats in our community. She passed from this world on November 19th of this year. Even though she didn’t live in Ferguson at the time of her passing, she touched many lives here.

Jo Ann was born in Paris, Missouri grew up on a farm and attended a oneroom schoolhouse through the ninth grade. She attended high school in Paris, MO. After high school, she worked for a mining contractor and moved around to different states. During this time, she married Gerald Bordeleau before moving to Ferguson in 1966, where she raised her five children.

Upon moving to Ferguson, Jo Ann applied for a position with the city as a bookkeeper and was immediately hired. She held many positions in the Finance Dept throughout the years; Bookkeeper, !966-1978, Accounting Manager, 1978-1983, Finance Manager, 1983-1986, and upon receiving her degree as Bachelor of Business Administration from UMSL, 1985, graduating summa cum laude, she became the Finance Director in 1986. While she worked to keep the city’s finances in order, she held many leadership roles with the local, state, and national Government Finance Office Association, (GFOA) and the Missouri Municipal League. Jo Ann was President of the local and state chapter of the GFOA in 1991. For a short period of time, Jo Ann held the position of Acting City Manager in 1997, before retiring from the Finance Department in 2004 and leaving the hustle and bustle of city administration life behind.

Of course, she didn’t just call it a day and move on, she remained very loyal to our community using her accounting experience helping many organizations with their finances. Jo Ann was the treasurer for many community events such as the Beach Parties, which grew into Streetfest, Northern Lights, and pretty much any group that needed someone to keep the finances straight. She worked with the Ferguson Historical Society and the Ferguson Special Business District, (FSBD). Because of her tireless efforts in helping all of these different organizations, Jo Ann was recognized as Ferguson’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2013.

Jo Ann was noted for her fabulous Christmas Parties for many years. At first, she invited just city employees, including the fire, police, and city garage. As time went by, she began inviting more friends, and lots of Ferguson volunteers. You were a lucky person to receive an invitation to one of Jo Ann’s parties; great food, drinks, and a plethora of good friends . . . all held in her home . . .first on Harvey then at her historical home on Wesley. She said that Christmas was always very special to her and she enjoyed sharing her festive decorations, food, and drinks with her friends and family.

JoAnn’s former historic house on the corner of Wesley and Georgia Avenues. WWII famous aviator, General Jimmy Doolittle once lived here. Doolittle was the leader of the first aerial attack on the Japanese mainland.

At her Christmas parties, she always had a fruit cake. I know what you’re thinking, “How old was this fruit cake?” One year I ate some of her cake because I had heard that the ingredients had been soaking in rum for at least a month, maybe more. I don’t know if these are the facts, but I know for a fact that that fruit cake was out of this world. And as has been mentioned earlier how she enjoyed sharing her festive decorations. Let me tell you, she had a Santa Claus collection over which I particularly marveled.

Asking the question, “What does it take to become the “Citizen of the Year”? If it takes giving of your time and energy to your community for 47 years, then Jo Ann was a hands down favorite.

And you were. You are missed Jo Ann.

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FERGUSON CITYWALK
110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
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