Joel Diego Washington Jr, affectionately known as “Jo Jo” was born on March 4, 1957, in Kokomo Indiana, to the parents of Joel Sr and Alice J. Washington. As the only living child growing up in his household his cousins were like his siblings. Some were even allowed to whoop him and they often mentioned how spoiled he was. In the eyes of his Momma, “Jeanika” as he called her, there was NO FAULT in him and she made sure everyone knew.
As a young child he had a special calling on his life and was filled with the evidence of the Holy Ghost at the tender age of 9. In 1987, he was ordained as an Elder in the Church of God in Christ. A very relatable man of God with a true servant's heart he was able to reach the people just by being “him.” Jo Jo’s bold personality was just one of the many gifts he possessed. He was a member of Grace Memorial Church of God in Christ, a phenomenal preacher and teacher, and he knew God's word front to back. He never judged a book by its cover and treated everyone the same. He knew how to do church, but he flourished in the ministry of outreach. He was often seen talking to all kinds of people, because everywhere he went, he never met a stranger. He enjoyed many activities such as basketball (many of us know or have heard about his left-handed jump shot), fishing, shooting pool, playing tennis (where he led someone to Christ), golfing, drawing, shopping and riding bikes but most importantly he was a continual giver, and he took pleasure in giving to those who God placed on his heart.
Joel proudly served his country as a soldier in the United States Army before becoming employed at Haynes International from which he retired in 2011 after 32 ½ years of service. In 1982 while employed at Haynes International he went back to school to receive his diploma from Kokomo High School. He was a great provider and took pride in caring for his family. Never missing a beat as a Papa, he was at games and all-important life events. Family vacations were always a must, and they were full of laughs. He loved cooking fried tacos, fish, greens and so much more. We enjoyed every bit of it knowing it was all made with love. He was a father figure, mentor and “Uncle Jo Jo” to so many because he was so relatable and funny, easy to talk to and had a nonjudgmental ear.
On December 27, 2022, God called his name, and he quickly answered at the young age of 65. He leaves behind his loving wife of 27 years, Sonia Washington of Kokomo, IN. His children Joel III (Natasha) Washington of Williamsburg, VA, Erika Washington, Ashley Herring and Julian Brown, all of Kokomo, IN; his mother, Alice Washington of Kokomo, IN; two sisters Tashau Dawson of Kokomo, IN, Jacqueline Washington of Indianapolis, IN; five grandsons Brevon, Devon Jr, Josiah, Breon, Santana; three granddaughters Jayla, Ashton, Jordyn; three God Children Jabez, Keke, Draiden; and a host of aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, and a special love for Smokey (our brother).
Joel was preceded in death by his father Joel Diego Washington Sr; two siblings Vickey Washington, Jeffrey Washington; Maternal Grandparents Lewis and Betty Hall; Paternal Grandparents Maggie and Henry Washington and son-in-law Denon Beard.
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