JoAnn Cox Shaheen

Born: Monday, December 17, 1928
Passed: Saturday, August 4, 2018

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JoAnn Josephine Cox (Anderson) Shaheen (89) died Saturday, August 4, 2018 at Wesley Willows Health Center in Rockford. JoAnn was born December 17, 1928 in Rockford to Everett and Lillian McCartney Cox. Married Thomas A. Shaheen on December 27, 1972 in Carmel, California. JoAnn held positions of increasing responsibility for 14 years in Rockford Public Schools beginning as an teacher in Elementary. The Teacher Development Center (TDC) at Welsh School received the National Thom McAn Award while JoAnn was director. After 33 years as a school administrator in Illinois and New York she served as an adjunct professor, consultant and speaker. She co-authored several books in her drive as an advocate for every child to receive an excellent education. To the end JoAnn was supporting excellence in the Rockford Public Schools. JoAnn believed in the imperative nature of parents feeling ownership of their public schools if they truly mean to actualize high quality education. JoAnn created a teddy bear called Theodore Fairbear to be a friend and share experiences with children. JoAnn's vision with Theodore Fairbear was the embodiment of fairness JoAnn dearly loved her Dandy Dinmont Terrier, Darby and her West Highland Terrier, Maggie. JoAnn graduated from West High School in 1946 then received a BA degree from Depauw University in 1950, Masters in Elementary Education from Rockford College in 1963 and Masters in Education Administration from Northern Illinois University in 1968 and Doctorate in Education Administration from Northern Illinois University in 1973. JoAnn is survived by Stepson Robert Shaheen and Stepdaughter Janice Shaheen and grandchildren Rafiq Shaheen, Tash Shaheen and Chris Smith and great granddaughter Roselyn Smith, nine cousins and four nephews. JoAnn was predeceased by her parents, husband Thomas A. Shaheen, brother Richard R. Cox. She was a member of Rockford Women's Club, Junior League, AAUW, PI BETA PHI. Memorial service will be 1:00 PM, Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Unitarian Universalist Church. Memorials may be given in her name to Rockford Area Arts Council Educators Memorial Fund, 713 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61104, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity Harlem Road, Loves Park, IL 61111, Booker T Washington Foundation for Education 1005 S. Court St. Rockford, IL 61102

Condolences & Shared Memories (3)

  1. Alberta Williams

    To JoAnn's love ones. Please accept my sincere condolences. Even tho, I know of no words, to rid you of your pain, during this most difficult time. May our prayers, help strengthen us and our memories, comfort us. At Isaiah 25:8; 26:19 we look forward to seeing our love ones again as Almighty God Jehovah, lovingly promises.

  2. Lucy

    What an accomplished woman. May she RIP.

  3. Allyson Misevich

    JoAnn Anderson was my third grade teacher at Maude E. Johnson Grade School in 1963. I will never forget her as she was one of the BEST teachers I have ever had in all my education. She saw potential in me and had me placed in a gifted program. She actually inspired me to become a teacher, which I did for eight years, and then I became an attorney. I remember how she told us about John F. Kennedy. We were all in school the day he was shot, and she told us in such a way that we were prepared to be understanding of our parents' feelings about such a tragic event. I also remember the beautiful penmanship she always had. I actually tried to write like her. She was definitely a mover and a shaker, and when she later married Thomas Shaheen, they were a dynamic duo trying to better education for all students. My prayers and condolences to her entire family. She was amazing and will be truly missed.

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