“Jo” Sassi, loving mother, devoted wife, and friend to many passed away peacefully on March 12 with her husband, Paul, by her side. She grew up in Laurel but lived for the past 38 years in Georgetown. Joanne and Paul met at work at Stockley Center in 1983 when they were both case managers for the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and shared the same office. Soon love bloomed and they became married in May of 1986. Joanne took on many job titles, such as Foster Care Coordinator in which she laid the groundwork for finding homes for people with developmental disabilities.

Joanne was active in sports both at Laurel High and at North Carolina Wesleyan College where she became friends with many of her classmates. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was adopting Con in 1992. She was a fierce fighter for Con, in that, she made sure that Con was treated the same as every other student which led to Con achieving a high school diploma. Joanne also made sure that Con got to travel to places like Disney World and Williamsburg. 

She was active in the Boys and Girls Club in Georgetown, she was a mentor at East Millsboro Elementary School, and made her voice heard at many parent meetings. Joanne was also a member of the Millsboro Kiwanis Club and president of the Delmarva Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She enjoyed crafting, scrapbooking, sewing masks during the pandemic, cooking, baking, collecting Longaberger baskets, and watching “NCIS.” Joanne also loved to invite people over for parties She had a great smile and made everyone feel welcome in her home. If you were lucky enough to have Jo for a friend you had a friend for life.

Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, William and Anna Hickman; her aunt Florence Masten who she loved very much; Mary Ann Day, her cousin, and of course good ol’ Uncle John Masten. She is survived by her husband, Paul; son, Conrad; brother, Jerry Hickman, and many cousins and friends. 

On March 18, a visitation for family and friends was held at Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home in Laurel followed by a funeral service. Reverend Dean Perdue officiated. Interment followed at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Laurel. Jo was also an animal lover. So please instead of flowers, please make a donation to the Brandywine Valley SPCA in her name. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hsdfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are in the care of the Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home in Laurel.