Joe Ann Melloan O’Hara, 79, of New Albany, IN passed away peacefully on November 7, 2021. Joe Ann was born on August 17, 1942 in Louisville, KY to John S. Melloan, Jr. and Rose Ballman Melloan. Joe Ann attended DuPont Manual High School and graduated in 1960, she then attended the University of Louisville where she studied Commerce and Business Administration.
After beginning her career in clerical positions, her leadership and strong work ethic was soon noticed. She began working for the Kentucky State Police as the Governor’s Highway Safety Coordinator, and eventually became the Commander of Highway safety for Kentucky. During her tenure, she led many initiatives that ended in legislation that increased the safety of Kentuckians. She was instrumental in the passing of the law that currently exists for seatbelts. After 12 years in this role, Joe Ann retired from Kentucky State Police as a Safety Coordinator & Commander of Highway Safety in 1986. She immediately put her skills to use at the national level and began working in Washington D.C. as a Traffic Law Enforcement Specialist for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1987 where she served 14 more years at the National level, retiring again in 2001. During her career, she was among the first generation of female leaders and led the way for many others. She was well respected in her profession and admired by those she worked with.
Joe Ann loved spending time with her family; her husband Alan Andrew O’Hara of 61 years; her son Francis O’Hara and daughter Brenna O’Hara Brosseit; her granddaughter Anna Rose Brosseit; her sister Rosalie Melloan Dowell and brother-in-law Lemor Dowell as well as many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Joe Ann’s life will take place Saturday December 11, 2021 at The Carriage House at the Howard Steamboat Museum, 1101 East Market Street, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130. All are welcome for a gathering of family, friends, and community to share stories and some experiences from 3pm-5pm and a short memorial at 4:30pm. The family would like to extend deep appreciation to Hospice and the nurses that cared for Joe Ann. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the COPD foundation at https://www.copdfoundation.org.