Billie Jo Gunn Purtiman went to be one with God on November 13, 2023 after a long, valiant battle with Alzheimer’s.
Jo or Jody, as she was affectionately known, was born November 16, 1937 in Normantown, WV, the only child of Edward and Lorene (White) Gunn.
As a child, Jo lived in many different places throughout West Virginia and Ohio, even spending several years with her beloved Aunt Mary White in Baltimore, MD. In her senior year of high school, the family moved to Flushing, Ohio, where Jo excelled, as a majorette and Valedictorian of her Class of 1956. At Flushing High School, Jo met a handsome and fun-loving basketball player in her class named Martin Purtiman. The summer after their high school graduation, Jo and Martin married on July 27, 1956 and recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. Together Jo and Martin had two children. Their daughter, Mitzi, was sadly lost at birth. Their son, Franklin,was the apple of Jo’s eye.
Prior to having children, she trained and worked as a hospital lab technician before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom to Franklin. Later in life, she returned to Ohio University, where in 1987 she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education, summa cum laude.
As an adult, the family lived briefly in both Chicago and Mansfield, Ohio, but most of her life was spent in Flushing, Ohio and Parma, Ohio.
Jo was pretty, smart, and talented, with a voracious appetite for reading and learning, a flamboyant sense of style, and a biting and sarcastic wit. Her Halloween costumes as a young mother were legendary. Later in life, she taught herself to weave beautiful tapestries, throws, and clothing for family and friends. She loved traveling, especially in the RV in which she and Martin saw the U.S., and had great love for her family, friends, and fur children. She was especially proud of her Scottish heritage.
She was a member of the Eastern Stars and the Red Hats.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband Martin of Cadiz Ohio, son and daughter-in-law Franklin and Teresa (Strausbaugh) Purtiman of Lexington, Ohio, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Terry and Becki (Purtiman) Gibson of Uniontown, Ohio, niece Heidi Garbesi and her husband Rob Bittinger of Jacobsburg, Ohio, nephew Doug Gibson of Uniontown Ohio, and many extended family and friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents, daughter Mitzi, parents-in-law Martin and Dorothy (Jackson) Purtiman, brother-in-law Tim Purtiman, and beloved dogs
Wilbur and Gessee.
A special thanks to all of Jo’s wonderful caregivers at both Wedgewood Assisted Living in Mansfield, Ohio and Harrison County Home in Cadiz, Ohio for their loving care of Jo these many years.
Visitation for friends and family will be from noon to 1pm on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at CARE Funeral and Cremation Specialists 204 W. Main St., St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions in Jo’s memory may be made to Honor Flight Network, your local Humane Society, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
To leave condolences or special memories of Jo, please visit www.carechapel.com
204 W Main Street
- Saturday, November 18, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM