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    Jo Ann Flirt
    March 4, 1932 – Feb. 2, 2018

    MOBILE — Jo Ann Flirt, a native of Mobile and a longtime resident of both Mobile and Baldwin counties, died Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. She was 85 years old.

    The family includes brothers, Gerald Wright of Somerset, Texas, and James Sellars of Robertsdale; nieces, Anita Brooks of Lambert, Miss., Elizabeth Quinn of Carrollton, Texas, Catherine Norwood of Humble, Texas, and Alicia Smith of Auburn; nephews, Robert Wright of Sequin, Texas, and James Sellars Jr. of Robertsdale; and many beloved cousins.

    Jo Ann Flirt

    Jo Ann was the owner of two businesses in Mobile, the Public Relations Council Inc. and the Mobile Record, prior to becoming the director of Blakeley State Park, where she had worked since 1977.

    A graduate of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ms. Flirt earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees before teaching journalism and public relations at the university.

    During Jo Ann’s tenure at Blakeley, where she served as director beginning in 2003 until her retirement in November of 2017, she fought relentlessly to procure grants and monies to obtain the land for the park. A passionate environmentalist, Ms. Flirt led efforts to create nature trails, a nature center and eco-tours within the park as well as establishing many improvements to park infrastructure and operations.

    Jo Ann was a founding member and former president of the Press Club of Mobile and a founding member of the Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She served as a technical writer for many area organizations, including the Strickland Youth Center, to help them procure grants.

    A longtime arts aficionado, Jo Ann was a season ticket holder for the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. She previously served on the boards of the City of Mobile Museum, the Joe Jefferson Players and the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.

    Jo Ann was a champion of civil rights and helped found Alabamians Behind Local Education, a group designed to help integrate Alabama schools, during the height of segregation. She successfully navigated and maintained cooperative relationships with federal agencies, Alabama legislators, state budget officials and local officials, both through her work with Blakeley and with local political campaigns.

    Visitation was Friday, March 2, at 9 a.m. at Swift Presbyterian Church, 23208 Swift Church Road, Foley. A memorial service took place at 10 at the church, with a reception afterward. Expressions of condolence may be offered at Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home and Crematory, Daphne.

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    Donations to Swift Presbyterian Church in a departed person’s memory can be made by mailing a check to the address at the bottom of the page, by dropping off checks to our office or via our secure online giving portal with the Presbyterian Mission Exchange, where you can write an electronic check or use your credit or debit card at any time. In the memo or “for” line, write “In memory of” and the name of the person you wish to honor. Choose the “Memorial Fund” option after you hit the “Give Now” button below.

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    23208 Swift Church Road
    Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: (251) 943-8367