Jo-Ann Kathleen Staffa

July 18, 1939 ~ July 2, 2021 (age 81)


Jo-Ann Kathleen Staffa, 81, passed away on July 2, 2021. She was an angel on Earth and to those who knew her a real-life superwoman.

Jo-Ann was born on July 18, 1939 to parents Joseph and Catherine (San Clemente) Buccellato. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan where she attended school and graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. Jo-Ann began her career in public relations for General Motors in Detroit. She single handedly raised her son and daughter while living in Michigan. Jo-Ann enjoyed being involved with their school functions and extracurricular events. She was the go-to “mom” for many of the children in the neighborhood and would offer her wisdom to anyone in need. It was while she was working in California, that she met the love of her life, Jeffrey Staffa, and one year later the two were married. Jeffrey’s job allowed for them to live all across the United States, including Chicago, New Jersey, and eventually to Platte City, where they have resided for the past 22 years. Jo-Ann had a natural talent for art and design, and each time they moved she took great pride in designing both the construction and interior furnishings of their family home. She made beautiful jewelry, painted with watercolors & oils, and loved to read. She continued to learn throughout her life by taking a wide variety of courses, and she traveled with her husband extensively. People were drawn to her spirit. She would counsel and comfort anyone who sought out her knowledge and wisdom, which happened often. Even complete strangers were drawn to her. Countless people upon meeting her for the first time would tell her their life stories. She was an amazing listener and always gave wonderful advice. She could do anything she set her mind to. She was generous, strong, brave, sassy, and beautiful inside and out.  She was loved by so many. 

Jo-Ann is preceded in death by her parents and will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by her loving husband of 38 years, Jeffrey Staffa; children; Heidi Hopkins and R.B. Hopkins; step daughter, Kim Staffa; sister, Kathi Miller; brother, Jerry Buccellato; grandchildren, Rebecca Simon, Amber Nolan, and Kayla Nolan; and great grandson, Emmett Plantus.


A celebration of life will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to:

City Union Mission ( - evangelical Christian ministry committed to sharing the gospel and meeting the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of men, women, and children who are poor or homeless.


College of the Ozarks ( - whose mission is to provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth who are found worthy but without sufficient means.

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