Hertford DSS Director succumbs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

GREENVILLE – Hertford County lost a true leader on Monday.

Jo Ann Hall, director of Social Services in Hertford County, died Monday after a courageous battle with cancer.

Hall, 62, was a native of Pitt County and a graduate of Washington High School, East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina. Hall worked in the social services field for more than 40 years, serving in various supervisory capacities and consulting in Beaufort, Pitt and Hertford counties, as well as with the State of North Carolina.

&uot;Hertford County was truly fortunate to find Jo Ann,&uot; Social Services Board Chairman David Shields said. &uot;She brought stability to the agency after there had been a great deal of turnover.&uot; &uot;She worked with child protection services before becoming director and she never lost the compassion or forgot why she was here,&uot; he continued. &uot;She performed an amazing balancing act.&uot;

According to Shields, Hall had an excellent ability to control the Social Services budget and an uncanny ability to maximize the county’s dollars, while taking advantage of every state and federal dollar Social Services receives.

&uot;I don’t know if people in the county truly appreciated what she accomplished and how hard she worked,&uot; Shields added.

&uot;I don’t think we realized how sick she was because she never complained,&uot; Shields said. &uot;She told me she was going to be out for a little while and she really thought she was going to be back.&uot;

&uot;We will struggle to replace her,&uot; Shields said.

&uot;These are trying times,&uot; Department of Social Services Administrative Officer Simon Orta said.

&uot;Jo Ann was our guiding light and she provided strength and support for the staff,&uot; Orta said. &uot;She advocated for the most needy of our citizens and was an inspiration to everyone she worked with.&uot;

&uot;Jo Ann kept a low profile and no task was too big or too small for her,&uot; Orta continued. &uot;She was the reason I came to work here.&uot;

The funeral service will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel in Greenville.

Hertford County Department of Social Services offices in Ahoskie and Winton will close at noon on Friday in honor of Hall’s death.