Barbara Jo Stephenson was born on May 3, 1950 in Detroit, the daughter of Ralph J. and Elizabeth Stephenson. Jo graduated from Redford High School. She attended the University of Michigan, 1968-1970, and transferred to Albion College, from which she graduated in 1972. She earned a Master of Arts degree in 1973 from Central Michigan University (CMU) and was a doctoral candidate at the Union Institute Graduate School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she pursued her research interest in Gerald Heard (1889-1971), a leading British philosopher of conservative thought. Russell Kirk, who is considered the founding father of modern conservative thought, advised Jo during her graduate work. She also attended Heritage Lectures at the Kirk home in Mecosta County.
A writer and poet, Jo worked at the Osceola County Herald in Reed City and the Pioneer in Big Rapids. From 1976 to 1991, she worked at CMU in the Public Relations Office. She taught in CMU’s Journalism Department in 1973, 1979-1983.
Jo married David B. Schock. They lived on a small farm in Millbrook, Michigan. She died on July 8, 1991 as the result of a rare tumor. (This information is from the collection.)