Josephine Eliza Callister was born on Christmas Day to Cedric and Frances (Bliss) Stone, the youngest of four children. Descended from four of the area’s founding families (Stone, Zimmerman, Bliss, and Engels), Jo grew up on the family dairy and berry farm on which Fairview Village was built. Life revolved around family, Fairview Grade School, and Smith Memorial Church, founded in 1890 by her Great-great Aunt Hannah (Stone) Smith.
Jo graduated from Gresham High School in 1945. She married Vaden James Callister, her high school sweetheart, and the love of her life, on November 10, 1948. Their home beside the Sandy River in Troutdale was home base for countless adventures and family vacations – camping, fishing, hunting, swimming, and waterskiing, a sport Jo enjoyed into her 70th year. In addition to being a wonderful mother and homemaker, Jo worked part-time in the 1960s as a secretary for Smith Memorial Church. From 1949 until its closure in 1982, she served as a part-time secretary and receptionist at the Multnomah County/Edgefield nursing home. A guest room at McMenamin’s Edgefield is named in her honor.
Jo and Vaden were among the founding members of the Fairview Mariners, a church-centered group that met monthly for nearly 60 years and was the hub of lifelong close friendships. They retired to Damascus, where Jo enjoyed their Mt. Hood view and spacious home in between frequent cross-country trips in their motor home.
Jo is preceded in death by Vaden, her brother Howard Stone, and sisters Evelyn DeYoung and Margaret Maggy. Survivors include three children; Teri (Bill) Herzog, Nancy Buley, and Larry (Janene Thomas) Callister; six grandchildren; Cameron, Lindsay and Brendon Herzog, Neil Buley, Heather Buley (Dirk Tarman) and Drew Callister (Salma Salah), and four great-grandchildren.
Jo is laid to rest beside Vaden, her husband of 64 years, at Douglass Pioneer Cemetery, Troutdale. Her long and fruitful life will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 26, at Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, Fairview. The family suggests remembrances be made to Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, Zimmerman House Museum (echohistory.org), or the charity of your choice.
Marcelyn Radke saysMarch 3, 2023 at 5:51 pm
Such an amazing woman! I had the pleasure of working with Jo in the early 80’ at MCHD in Gresham after Edgefield closed. She was so sweet, always talking about V and her kids, family was definitely her world. As it turned out my brother worked with V at PGE. I’m so sorry for your families loss, she was truly a beautiful person.