Jo Carol Redd

jo redd

January 11, 1939 ~ August 1, 2023

Born in: Port Arthur, Texas
Resided in: College Station, Texas

Jo Carol Savarino Redd, age 84, died peacefully in a local hospital, Tuesday evening, August 1, 2023, in College Station, Texas surrounded by her family.

Jo Carol (affectionately known by many as Mama Jo) was born in Port Arthur, Texas January 11, 1939 to Julius P. Savarino and Ruby Inez Savarino.   Being Julius and Ruby’s only child, she was deeply treasured and loved.  She received her education in the Port Arthur public school system, graduating from Port Arthur’s Thomas Jefferson High School in 1957.  She attended the University of Houston and Lamar University in Beaumont, earning a BS in Elementary Education from Lamar in 1960.  After graduation, she was employed by the Port Arthur public school system to teach at the William B. Travis elementary school.  For the next 50 years, Jo Carol used her unique ability to “hook” young children into the joy of learning.

She had a long association with the art of ballet, receiving her first instruction at the young age of three at the Florence Coleman School of Ballet in Port Arthur.  At an early age she demonstrated talent, which encouraged her to invest the time and energy into possibly making ballet her profession.  She took lessons in New York City to perfect her art, but the practical side of her mother cut that dream short.   It was her belief that a girl needed a profession that was solid and secure, not one as unreliable as that afforded by the arts.  Thus, Jo Carol moved her love of performance from the stage into the classroom, where her young audience loved it.

For over 22 years Jo Carol raised her two sons in a modest home on Springdale Street in Port Arthur.  The house was always filled with family & friends coming together to laugh and share life over a plate of “Quick Spaghetti”.  Jo Carol lived life out loud and everyone who walked through her door was welcomed and loved–you knew it without question.  She was the magic that gave life its color and she was the glue that held us all together each and every day on Springdale.

Jo Carol and husband, James, moved from Port Arthur to College Station in 1998 mainly because she knew her sons, who are graduates of Texas A&M, will always be returning to that special place.  After the move, College Station quickly became her home, and then began her quick transformation into a zealous, if not rabid, Aggie.

Also, after the move to College Station, Jo Carol became part of that special group who serve as docents at the George Bush Presidential Library.  Additionally, she was a member of Kappa Delta, a former member of The Woman’s Club, and a former director at the Port Arthur YMCA.  She performed other community service, such as collecting personal items for our military members who were serving in foreign wars.

Jo Carol is preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by her husband, James R. Redd of College Station, her two sons, Christiaan Sartain and wife Lauren of Fort Worth, Courtney Sartain and wife Ashley of Aledo, six grandchildren, Payton Sartain, Riley and husband Noah Vaughn, Brooks Sartain, Ava Sartain, Olivia Sartain, Drew Sartain, and one great-grandchild, Reese Vaughn.

Her service will be held Saturday, August 12, at 2:00 PM, at Christ Church on Highway 6 south in College Station, with Reverend Jerry House officiating. At 4:00 PM a reception will be held at Pebble Creek Country Club.

Your prayers and thanksgiving for Jo Carol’s remarkable life are the greatest gift you can share, but if you wish to remember her in another way, please consider a donation in her name to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.  Express condolences at


Funeral Service: August 12, 2023 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Christ Church (CUMC)
4201 Texas 6 Frontage Road
College Station, Texas 77845


Reception: August 12, 2023 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Pebble Creek Country Club
4500 Pebble Creek Parkway
College Station, Texas 77845

View current weather.


The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Jo Carol Redd 's name.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

501 St. Jude Place



Tribute Video

Memories Timeline


  1. It was such a privilege and honor to know our sweet Mama Jo. She was incredibly smart, thoughtful & such a courageous woman. We will hold her in our hearts forever. She impacted everyone she met & her guiding light will carry on. We are so deeply sorry for your family’s loss & will continue to pray for peace & healing.

    With love,
    Ashley, Craig, Madelyn & Mason Valka

  2. I had the great pleasure of knowing Mama Jo when I was director of the Bush Museum. After retiring I volunteer on the Tuesday morning shift at the museum with her. She joked with me that it was her job to train me be to a good docent. I not sure I will ever live up to her high standard. She had true Texas Charm welcoming visitors to the museum from around the world. She was so proud of her family and was so good to everyone she knew. She may have been short of stature but she was a tall Texan! And we all loved her.

  3. How lucky was I to cross paths with Jo Carol during my life. I first met her because she was a parent of one of my students. As our paths crossed again in life we became good friends. She was such a remarkable person in ways too numerous to count. She loved life and spread her enthusiasm to others. My deepest sympathy to her family. She loved you all beyond measure. May all of your wonderful memories be of comfort to you during this difficult time and in the years to come.

  4. So much to say about a tiny “firecracker” named Jo Carol! She was a treasured friend from way back. She and I taught together at Travis Elementary in Port Arthur ISD in the late 70’s. Jo Carol moved to Washington Elementary to teach 2nd grade in the Summit Program (early GT program). Our son, Chase, was in her class. May I just say Mrs. Sartain was his favorite teacher, and he compared other teachers who followed to her! She always shined in his book!
    Also we shared a coveted title in our hometown high school, Thomas Jefferson, as the Red Hussar Drum & Bugle Corps Drum Majors. (as did my Mom, Betty Lough). Whenever Jo Carol moved to College Station I encouraged her to become a docent at the George Bush Library – she did! She was excellent at everything she encountered during her life. We have many wonderful memories of Jo Carol Redd and we will miss her terribly. She was an example to follow and she was one of the most dynamic personalities I have ever known. We loved our little Italian Mama Jo! I am certain she is dancing and entertaining in the Heavenly Realm right now!

  5. 20 years go Mrs Redd walked into my classroom before school started and told me to go home. I didn’t know who this sub was and I just looked at her and said “I can’t! My baby woke up sick and I don’t have any plans for you. Let me gather some things.” She took one look at me and said “Go home! Take care of your baby. I have my bag of tricks” (and she held up her bag)! I learned that day to always listen to Mrs Redd. My own personal children loved Mrs. Redd. While she will be deeply missed on Earth I know she’s keeping everyone in line in Heaven. ❤️ Love, Jeff, Robin, Kaylea, and Zach Haas

  6. Jo Carol has been in our lives through her son, Courtney, and my son Thad. Once they met each other in first or second grade (Terrell grade school), they have stayed in contact with each other to today. Thad felt Jo Carol was his “second mama” – and Jo Carol treated him like he was her son. The boys were together throughout their school years, graduated together, and although Cortney attended a different college than Thad, they still met up occasionally. I knew Jo Carol when we were in high school together and I admired her as she led her Red Hussars Drum & Bugle Corps up and down the football field. She was well liked by others and very popular. However, I didn’t get to really know her until our sons met. She was a single mom and I was married; but, we had a lot in common with each other through our son’s activities. She was always “on top of things” and as said by someone else a “fireball”. She was a very good mother to her boys and a valuable friend to me and my husband (she reminded me often how lucky I was to have my husband)

  7. Betty Lough
    Aug 3, 2023 @8:21 pm

    I met Jo Carol through my daughter, Beryl Miller when they were teaching together at Travis Elementary. A short time later I found out she was my Grandson’s 2nd grade teacher & my daughter asked me to be a substitute Home Room Mother for the Columbus Day Celebrations! I asked Jo Carol how I could help her &, in that very meeting she handed me several names of ladies who were baking the cookies, etc & all I had to do was pick them up & show up for the fun. I was so awed by this precious lady, she without asking did the work for me & I enjoyed the Day with she & her students! You could not “Outgive” Jo Carol. She quickly became “Mama Jo” to my Grand daughter, Ashley Miller when Ashley became a Freshman at A & M & Jo Carol has kept that status to others in our family as well. With her precious, outgoing personality , I’m sure God is putting , “ Mama Jo” where she can make a difference! She is so loved & I’m praying that GOD’S Peace that surpasses All Understanding will guard the hearts of each of her Loving Family! RIP, my friend!

  8. Dear Christian and Courtney,
    Sincere condolences and prayers on the part of my family and me. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord..
    In Christ’s love,
    Fr. Kevin L. Badeaux

  9. Jo Carol volunteered at the George Bush Library with my mom, Marty Dixon for 20 years. She continued to be a wonderful friend to me after my mom died in 2017, sharing memories and ending funny emails to make my day. She will be greatly missed!!

  10. Dear Christian and Courtney,
    Childhood memories that recall Jo Carol and your Grandparents on Procter St. still come to mind. Jo Carol took so much pride and joy in her family. A life well lived. May she Rest in Peace.

  11. I was in her 2nd grade class at Travis Elementary School the 1983-1984 school year. She was a wonderful teacher that even remembered me after I graduated high school. She came to Luby’s when I worked there at the Central Mall location in 1997 and told me she remembered me from being in her class. I didn’t know we had a lot in common. We both were apart of the Red Hussars Drum and Bugle Corps. I didn’t find out she had been a member until I got to high school and joined the Corps. myself. She had a lasting impact on everyone who came in contact with her. She will definitely be missed! Saying a prayer for all of her family. Hold on tight to her lasting memories.

  12. I volunteer at Bush Library and have know Jo for a long time. She was always smiling
    And such a happy person. She will be missed so much.

  13. Always loved it when Mrs. Redd substituted for our teachers. The children loved her and she was also do upbeat. A gifted lady

  14. I met Mrs. Redd about 10 years ago. I always looked forward to her visits and just talk about anything. She always asked about my family. She always had a story to tell me about her life. She was such an amazing woman. And I am truly blessed that I did get to meet her and have her in my life for those years. Rest in Peace Mrs. Redd. Prayers to her family.

  15. Retired Armed Security Sergeant James Mullins TAMU Police Department George HW Bush Presidential Library and Museum says:

    Oh how I will miss momma Joe! She was a friend, a confidant and the best dang dance partner and the volunteer Christmas Party for the volunteers of the George Bush Library and Museum! You will never be forgotten my friend! My prayers go out to James and your sons! ✌❤️ love you my friend

  16. Mama Jo was one of a kind. Meeting her at an Aggie Softball game was a highlight of 2018. She welcomed us into the Aggie softball family with not only open arms but with an open heart. You will be missed sweet lady. Go Rest High!

  17. I remember those wonderful days that we spent teaching at Mumford School. You were teaching next door in 1st grade and I was teaching 2nd grade. What a joy it was to work with you! I will never forget those days! What a blessing. God bless your family!

  18. Dear Christian and Courtney,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your Mom was such a dear lady. Some of the happiest times of my childhood were spent there on Procter Street with ya’ll, your Mom and Grandparents. How blessed we all were to have had those happy days together. May God comfort you and your families.
    Love & Prayers,
    Doreen Badeaux

  19. I had the absolute honor and privilege of being one of Mama Jo’s nurses a few weeks ago. The moment I met her I knew she was an amazing, glamorous, sassy, spit fire of a woman, and I LOVED it. She easily became my favorite patient. A memory that will forever be in my heart is when she graciously allowed me to do her hair and makeup, and if you know mama Jo you know that’s essential, even in the hospital. As I was doing her makeup I was filled with awe at the beauty and spunk of this woman. I was then filled with gratitude for getting the opportunity to meet and care for a woman such as Mama Jo. The best way I believe I can honor her, is living life fearless, fabulous and faithful. She was a fearless Woman of God, a tremendous role model to all. My prayers are with the family and friends of Mama Jo.❤️

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools
construction update map

Due to the construction on S College Ave our facility is only accessible via Dellwood St. Please refer to this map for reference. Dellwood St can be accessed via Cavitt Ave and Texas Ave.

For more information, please visit the Bryan, TX website.