Jo Gayle Peel of Perry

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Jo Gayle Peel ended her long battle with multiple sclerosis May 4, 2017. She passed away at the Granger Nursing and Rehabilitation in the presence of her loving husband, daughter and son-in-law.

Jo Gayle Millhollin was born March 15, 1951, to Robert and Jeanne Millhollin of Perry, Iowa.


She graduated from Perry High School in 1969. She graduated from Iowa State University with her bachelor’s in child development in 1974.

She went to work as the director of a daycare in Marshalltown immediately following college. When Perry opened its first public preschool, she returned to town and became a teacher.

She married her college sweetheart, Robert Peel, Feb. 22, 1975.

Following work with the preschool, Jo Gayle went to work with the traveling team from Woodward State Hospital.

In 1978 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. After her diagnosis, she returned to Iowa State University and earned a second degree in elementary education in 1981 and did substitute teaching until her retirement in 1984.

Even though she could no longer teach, she volunteered as a storyteller for the Perry Public Library for many years.

In July of 1985, Jo Gayle and Bob were blessed with a daughter, Jessica.

Jo Gayle was a devoted mother, despite her illness. She and Jessica enjoyed playing, reading and taking walks.

Jo Gayle and Bob never missed a dance recital or choir concert.

Jo Gayle will always be remembered for her bubbly personality, positive attitude and her unending devotion and love of children, especially Jessica.

Jo Gayle was preceded in death by her mother and father; infant sisters, Jennifer and Denise; and younger sister, Debra Millhollin.

She is survived by her husband, Robert; daughter, Jessica (Andrew) Austin of Cedar Rapids; sister, Donna Myers of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; seven nieces and nephews; and 14 great-nieces and great-nephews.

A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Perry. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Friday, May 12, with the family receiving friends from 5-6  p.m. at Murdock Funeral Home.

The family wishes to express a special thank you to the staff and volunteers of HCI  and to the staff of Granger Nursing and Rehabilitation for the many years of care they gave Jo Gayle.

Memorials can be made to HCI Care Services and to the Perry Public Library.

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