In remembrance …

Joann Smith Wissinger

(1954 – 2021)

Joann Smith Wissinger grew up in Stewart, AL in Hale County.  She graduated from high school at Southern Academy.  She received B.S. and M.S. Degrees from the University of Alabama with a major in Home Economics with emphasis in Foods, Nutrition & Institution Management.

She began her career with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Jefferson County in the area of 4-H and Youth in 1978.  She became a Regional 4-H Agent in 2004.  In 2010 she accepted the position of Jefferson County Extension Coordinator until her retirement in 2015.

During her career, Wissinger had numerous 4-H members that excelled at the county, district, state, and national levels.  Her passion was always to work with the 4-H foods programs.  She chaperoned Citizenship Washington Focus and National 4-H Congress.  In 2007, she was on the team that developed “Just Move Alabama”.  This received national acclaim as a health and fitness program.

Wissinger was very active in professional development associations and enjoyed traveling across the US to attend conferences.  She received Communicator Awards for television presentations from the NEAFCS as well as the Distinguished Service Award and Continued Excellence Award.  She was a charter member and served as State President of ALAE4-HA in 1989 and received the Cecil Mayfield Leadership Award, Distinguished Service Award, Meritorious Service Award, and 25 Years of Service Award.  The Alpha Pi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi awarded her the Distinguished Service Award and the 25 Years of Tenure Recognition.  ALAFCS awarded Wissinger the Professional of the Year Award and she served as State President. She was honored to receive any award but was humbled when she received the ACES Superior Service Award in 2001 and the Superior Service Team Award in 2007.  In 2012 she received the Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award from the University of Alabama, College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Over the years, Wissinger always found time for volunteering at the Birmingham Decorator Show House, the University of Alabama Home Economics Society, and the American Heart Association.  She was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Jefferson County Cattlewomen, and the Jefferson County Farmers Federation Women’s Committee.

She loved to cook and try new recipes.  Entertaining at her home was always a pleasure.  Her greatest enjoyment was attending the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football games where she was a season ticket holder.  In retirement she was able to have more time for her hobbies but continued a close connection with 4-H and her professional associations.

In recognition of her years of service, the name Joann Smith Wissinger is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.

Chapel Plaque Inscription Number 657