Etajoe "Joe" Leppert, 88 years old ,went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 5, 2011, and reunite with the loved ones who went before her. She was born in Abernathy, Texas, July 13, 1922, the oldest daughter of Arthur and Eva Gilliland. Etajoe graduated from high school in Abernathy, Texas, and attended secretarial college in Lubbock, Texas. "Joe" as she was called by her family, was a child of the depression and grew up on a farm in west Texas. Always independent and strong, you could say she was "Texas tough" and throughout her life was there to help anyone in every way she could.
In 1943, Etajoe was joined in marriage to William Young in Gallup, New Mexico. From that union, four children were born. She devoted the first years of her marriage to lovingly caring for her husband and children during which time her husband served in WWII, and making their home in Lubbock, Texas.
In 1970, Etajoe and her youngest daughter, Judy, moved to Tenmile, Oregon, to care for her aging mother. Etajoe's grandchildren, nieces and nephews all called her "Mama Joe" and her home was filled with photos of loved ones.
In 1984, Etajoe married Roy Willis until his death in 1985.
She was wed to Roy Leppert in August, 1986 for 11 years until his death in 1997. Together, they shared a love of the outdoors, gardening, walking the beach hand in hand and attending church.
Etajoe was a devout Christian who cherished being with family and friends spending time cooking and sewing for everyone she knew. Etajoe was active in the Tenmile Methodist Church where she was a Sunday school teacher and member of the church board. She was well known for her pies, sewing skills and decorating the church for every holiday.
Etajoe is preceded in death by her parents, a brother, John Gilliland, a sister, Frankie Ziegler, husband, Roy Leppert. Etajoe is survived by four children, Ron Young and wife, Donde; Steve Young and wife, Sherry; Lydia Noll and husband, Keith; Judy Sandlin and husband, Johnny and Richard Oxley, who was as close as a son. She also leaves one sister, Delvis (Deb) Ragan as well as nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.