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Josephine's Story

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Josephine "Jo Ellen" (Byrne) Durbin, 87, passed away at her home Feb. 16, 2017. She was born Feb. 13, 1930 to Richard & Sylvia (Mullins) Byrne in Rushville, Indiana.
Jo Ellen was valedictorian of her 1948 Rushville High School graduating class and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni in 1998. She was a graduate of St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing and worked both at Coleman Hospital in Indianapolis and Rush Memorial Hospital in Rushville.
Her life was dedicated to caring for her family and in later years, doting on her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was passionate about music, enjoyed traveling with her family, and never missed an opportunity to attend important events in her children's and grandchildren's lives.
Faith was always a driving force in Jo Ellen's life. She was a long-time parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rushville and St. Simon the Apostle Church in Indianapolis. Through the years, she served as a representative to the Deanery Board of Education, on the Youth Ministry Commission, as lay minister, on the parish council, and on the social justice committee. The pro-life cause was close to Jo Ellen's heart, and she was active with the Right-to-Life, Birthline, and Life Chain organizations. Jo Ellen was a volunteer at the Dayspring Center, a shelter for the homeless, and also delivered Communion to patients at Methodist Hospital, as well as homebound members of her parish.
In addition to her beloved husband of 61 years, David, she is survived by her seven daughters- Sylvia (Lou) Zimmerman of Indianapolis, Kathleen (Rod) Porter of Indianapolis, Carol (Charles) Munsell of Indianapolis, Jean Thayer of Indianapolis, Judy (Rob) Lee of Greenfield, Patty (Pat) Horan of Indianapolis, and Mary (Roy) Sparks of Indianapolis; 16 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren and one on the way.
Jo Ellen was preceded in death by children Peter and Paul, her parents, brothers Gene Byrne, Reverand James Byrne, Richard Byrne and sister Jacqueline (Byrne) Riedman.
Visitation will be 4 - 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19th at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church in Indianapolis. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20th at St. Simon the Apostle. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Rushville.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jo Ellen's name to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and to St. Mary's School. Online condolences at www.ToddFuneralHome.com
Published on February 17, 2017
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