Josie Claire Cannon Doty


Josie Claire Cannon Doty of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida born in 1933 at St. Lukes Hospital in Jacksonville, peacefully passed away on Monday March 25, 2024.

Jo was preceded in death by her parents, Frank & Elvira Cannon; two sisters, Frankie Knabb and Winnie Warren; husband, Bill Doty; and son, Steve Doty. Jo is survived by her daughter, Susie Doty; her brother John Cannon; 5 grandchildren – Kendal, Taylor, Christopher, Kaity, Andee; 4 great grandchildren – Brooklyn, Hunter, Cambrie and Carson.

Jo grew up in Jacksonville. She was on a mission to education right from the start. She graduated from Landon Jr./Sr. High when she was 16 years old. Then she went right to college at FSU where she graduated in 3-1/2 years with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary & Secondary Education. She then completed her master’s degree in Elementary Education and Administration. Jo started teaching in the ’50s.

Her love of children was amazing and she thrived in teaching and education. One of Jo’s greatest legacies was as an Elementary School Principal. She was principal at Loretto Elementary School for 9 years and absolutely loved it! When they built the New Mandarin Oaks Elementary School, she was asked to lead the start-up of the new school as principal. She brought along with her many, many valuable friends and teaching colleagues with whom she worked through the years, because she always knew the best thing for the kids, as well as the parents was to have the most dedicated, caring staff and teachers in place. THAT is exactly what she did there for 14 years until she retired (1989-2003).

While attending college at FSU, Jo met William “Bill” Doty. After she graduated from FSU, they were married Feb. 9, 1954. However, Bill left FSU to attend Randolph Macon Military Academy — of course graduating with honors with the intent of a career in the US Army. They traveled all over Europe during Bill’s first three years of deployment and Jo was allowed to go with him. On their second tour of duty in Germany, their first child was born, Susan Lee Doty (AKA: Susie). They were then stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia and four years later their son, Steven Taylor Doty, was born. Their next six years were spent in Ft. Rucker, Alabama. After Bill retired with 25 years of service in the US Army, they came back to Jacksonville permanently. Bill also shared Jo’s passion for education and children and started teaching at Fletcher Senior High School where he definitely made his mark on many, many students.

One thing Jo and Bill always loved was their Seminoles! They had season tickets and traveled to every home game on the booster bus for years! ALL the family, friends, children and grandchildren have special memories of those trips! GO NOLES! Probably their second FAVORITE thing to do, or destination spot, was always Disney World in Orlando!! They took both their children to the opening Day of Disney World and at a moment’s notice were packing up to go any time! Having grandchildren only gave them a reason to go more often! Jo was an amazing leader and she always told us growing up: “Don’t adapt to the energy in the room. Influence the energy in the room.”

Jo loved sitting on the beach, listening to the ocean and reading paperback books, one after the other. She loved her pets too! Her White Westie, Molly, was a special trained service dog. Jo took Molly to the hospital to visit patients weekly. She and Bill also raised Himalayan Show Cats and travelled to attend cat shows and to show their own cats.

Jo loved to sew and was an excellent seamstress. She had such a creative flair, all of her own, that always came out in the pieces she created. Every special occasion meant a trip to the fabric store. Jo also loved to cook and bake. She always loved a good tomato sandwich and a good, strong cup of black coffee.

She could also make anything grow and thus loved working in the yard. Her beautiful garden and bed of Amaryllis is amazing, and all the neighborhood looks forward to their blooms every spring. At this time, they are all blooming and smiling at her.

Jo was such an amazing, kind, special lady that many, many people will miss terribly! Her passing leaves us all with a profound sense of loss, but her spirit, laughter and loving heart will forever be a part of us. Rest in peace beloved Jo! Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and irreplaceable friend to ALL who knew her!

A memorial service will be held in Jo's honor on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Ponte Vedra Valley Funeral Home, immediately followed by her committal service.