JoAnn Tyler

Posted Oct 05, 2021

JoAnn Tyler died, May 26, 2021. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 9, 1934 (and she would insert HER version of Mark Twain’s quote: “Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter!”). After the death of her father she and her mother moved to Meridian to be near family and JoAnn attended Stephenson Elementary. She graduated in 1952 from Meridian High School and the “Fourteenth Grade” in 1954, having been voted Class Favorite that year. She especially enjoyed in those years being one of Meridian Public Schools’ “play teachers”.

After graduating MSCW (Mississippi’s Sweetest Collection of Women, as she would say), JoAnn answered Florida’s call teaching high school in St. Petersburg for seven years. She then left the sun to pursue a Master’s degree at THE Ohio State University (“Go Bucks!”). In the fall of 1962, she joined Otterbein (Westerville, OH) College’s Women’s Physical Education Department where she taught methods and activity classes as well as coached a championship women’s tennis team. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she served on numerous college committees over her 33 years of tenure.

She received her Ph.D. from OSU in 1972 and continued teaching at Otterbein, her “second home”. In 1995, she was presented an Otterbein honorary alumni award and was later inducted into the Otterbein Athletics Hall of Fame. Upon her retirement she returned to the “Sunshine State” living in Pensacola until 2019.

She leaves behind her sister, Joy Brown Sorrels (David), her niece, Mary Ellen Waters (Dave), and their children Madison, Cannon, and Will, as well as family and friends in Ohio, Florida, and Nevada.