Jefferson City, Mo. -- Jo Ann Leighton died after a brief illness on August 6, 2007, at St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City, Mo. Graveside services were held at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo., on September 10, 2007.

She was born at home on the family farm outside Rolfe, on April 8, 1932. to Iris and Albert Wolfe during the height of the Depression. She graduated from Rolfe High School, and shortly thereafter, married Charles DeSmet Jr. of St. Louis, Mo. After his sudden death in an auto accident, she returned to Iowa a young widow with one daughter and another on the way. She later married Robert Leighton and bore a son. She lived in Spencer for many years. After the death of her husband of 30 years, she resided near her eldest daughter, living in Tipton, Mo.

She was known by her friends as someone who would look out for them in their time of need. She loved laughter and fun. Her last act on earth was caring for a friend just home from the hospital.

She is predeceased by her parents, Iris and Albert Wolfe of Pocahontas; sister, Shirley Ryan; brother, Ray Wolfe; husbands Charles DeSmet Jr. and Robert Leighton; and a granddaughter, Shay Elizabeth Rowe.

She is survived by her sister, Kay (Don) Hoffert of Laurens; two daughters, Pat (John) Kerr of Jefferson City, Mo., and Judith DeSmet of Atlanta, Ga.; one son, Stephen (Kristi) Leighton of Richmond, Va.; one grandson, Spencer Leighton; two granddaughters, Stephanie Leighton and Capt. Kate (Rowe) Numerick; and one great-grandson, Abraham Numerick.