JoAn Marie (Stiles) Moffit
Village of Norwood; Charlevoix, Michigan
Potter and ceramic artist JoAn “Jo” Moffit passed away February 9, 2022 at The Brook in Boyne City, Michigan. She was 86.
The youngest of six children, Jo was born August 7, 1935 in Gratiot County, Michigan to Ralph and Gladys (Wolfe) Stiles, and grew up in Lansing, Michigan.
Following graduation from J.W. Sexton High School, Jo attended Michigan State University (MSU) graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education. Jo pursued graduate studies in Art, specializing in Ceramics, receiving her Master’s degree from MSU.
Jo met her husband Leon “Lee” Moffit at church where they both sang in the choir. They were married in 1956 and made their home in Lansing, where Lee worked nights on a degree in Fisheries Biology and Jo taught art in the Haslett school district. Following Lee’s graduation from MSU, the couple moved to Traverse City in 1966, then to Norwood the following year, where they remodeled an old farmhouse and built a pottery studio. Over the next 10 years, Jo and Lee traveled on weekends to exhibit Jo’s stoneware at art fairs throughout the state.
After Lee’s sudden and untimely death in 1977, Jo pursued her art career fulltime. Specializing in porcelain, Jo became a highly regarded artist of both functional and sculptural ceramics. She converted an old chicken coop into a salesroom and ran a successful sales business from her home. Jo proudly exhibited her work over 5 decades at the East Lansing, Ann Arbor and Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fairs.
Jo admired and collected the artwork of friends and fellow artists, displayed throughout her cherished and wonderfully eclectic home and studio. Jo had a personal style that reflected her many interests and artistic sensibilities. She loved shopping, clothes, cats, the color purple, fine china, antique furniture and books, jewelry, art supplies, stained glass, dolls, and “tiny” things; tiny spoons, bowls, beads, scissors, paintings, baskets.
Jo could be eccentric, infuriating, delightful, melancholy, and a ball of positive energy. She walked and talked fast, was smart, had a lovely singing voice, a sharp wit, and enjoyed pizza, beer, and a good laugh. Jo loved God, was a faithful and devoted Christian, and was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlevoix.
Jo was preceded in death by her parents; the love of her life, her husband Lee; and her five beloved siblings and their spouses; sister Dorothy (Carl) Brewster, and four brothers; Eugene “Harry” Stiles (Maxine), John “Jack” Stiles (Jamie), Donald Stiles (Billie, Jean) and Jerry Stiles (Lorraine, Beverly). Left to cherish her memory are Jo’s many nieces and nephews and their families, and a host of dear and loyal friends.
There will be no services. A memorial celebration will be held by Jo’s family at a later date. Those wishing to honor Jo’s memory are asked to support the work of local artists, art education, your local Humane Society, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements have been handled by the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.