|Birth: ||Nov. 13, 1929|
|Death: ||Jun. 14, 2014|
JoAnn Yeager Adkins passed away on June 14, 2014 at the age of 84 in Cumming, GA.
JoAnn was born in Coos Bay, Oregon on November 13, 1929 to Silas E. Yeager and Annabelle Stradling Yeager. Her family moved to Prosser, WA within the year after her birth, where they lived until 1942. Brothers Edgar and Dean, and sister Murrel were born while living in Prosser.
Silas worked construction on the Midway Substation at Vernita, WA, and later as a power operator at the powerhouse located at Priest Rapids, WA, where the family moved in 1942. During the seven years the family lived at Priest Rapids, another sister, Jeanetta, and brother, Truman (Butch), were born.
Education was always of great importance to JoAnn. She attended her first years of schooling in Prosser, and then attended Vernita School until the 8th grade, when the 8th grade students were bussed into Hanford. She told of watching the bulldozers break ground for the Manhattan Project while she was a student there. She spent her high school years in Sunnyside, WA, and upon graduation she was hired as secretary to the principal.
JoAnn married Bob Bridges of Sunnyside, WA, and had sons Clinton and Nathan, and daughter Lorraine, in Sunnyside. Bob, a veteran, purchased land in Othello, WA where they moved to establish a mint farm.
During the years on the farm JoAnn began fulfilling her dream to go to college. She drove to Moses Lake to attend night classes at the junior college where she excelled in the language arts.
Her love of writing started at a young age. While in high school she gathered local news around Vernita and Priest Rapids, writing articles that were published in a small newspaper called The Coyote Call. The locals read the paper, and then sent it on to their kids serving in the military.
She eventually left Othello and moved to Yakima, WA, and later to Atlanta, GA, where she married Gene Adkins. In Atlanta JoAnn once again attended college - graduating from Mercer University at the top of her class.
She became a published poet and editor of the Georgia Poetry Society's annual publication, The Reach of Song. She was Managing Editor for The Chattahoochee Review, a publication of Georgia Perimeter College. She published her only book, Don't Pray Me a Bus Stop: The Reflections of Mattie Ruth A. Walker. JoAnn was a lively conversationalist, a great storyteller, and a dear friend to many.
JoAnn worked at the Clarkston, Dunwoody, and Decatur campuses of Georgia Perimeter College from July 1989 until her retirement in July 2010. During these years Jo enjoyed her life working at the colleges, meeting authors she admired, creating her own poetry, and entertaining her friends with parties in her home. JoAnn loved hosting parties, first in Othello, then Yakima, and finally Atlanta to celebrate many different occasions. She hosted Groundhog Day parties because, according to Jo, the weather at that time of year dictated a good cheering up. She even threw an annual birthday party for her pug Jimmy's birthday on Halloween, and her annual Vidalia onion parties became so well attended by friends that they became too large for even Jo to handle.
When JoAnn was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she was forced to retire from the job she loved, but as she neared 81 years of age, it seemed to be time. She lived in her home in Atlanta, assisted by her friend Bruce Winchester, until they sold the house and moved to Cumming, GA.
JoAnn is survived by her brothers: Dean Yeager (Julie), Wenatchee, WA, S. Edgar Yeager (Ella), Cheyenne, WY, Truman (Butch) Yeager, Selah, WA; sisters: Jeanetta Arenott (Ray), San Ramon, CA and Murrel Dawson (Jack), Pasco, WA; children: two sons, Clinton Bridges (Carol), Moses Lake, WA, Nathan Bridges (Jonica), Sunnyside, WA, daughter Lorraine Esterling, Seattle, WA; stepsons: Tony Adkins (Linda), Nucla, CO, Scott Adkins of Edgewood, WA; stepdaughter Corey Robinson of Yakima, WA; step-granddaughter, Dawn Robinson of Seattle, WA; along with six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family gives many thanks to the friends who rallied around JoAnn in her final months. Thank you Linda, Kathy, Leara and those that we don't know about. We give a special thanks to her longtime friend, Bruce Winchester. Also, thanks to those special people who work in hospice and took such loving care of JoAnn during her final days.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Cumming Hospice House (8013 Majors Road, Cumming, GA 30041), or a charity of your choice. Jo would like that.
Honoring JoAnn's wishes, her ashes will be placed beside her grandmother, Olla Hopkins Stradling (#43338417), in the Prosser Cemetery during a graveside service at a future date. Later some of her ashes will be scattered along the banks of the Columbia River where she grew up at Priest Rapids.
I need a river
But not this river
With its high dams and flat waters
Controlled by hydraulic gates
I see the old river
Unfathomable uncrossable unconquered
Lighted in the early east by orange fire
Dipped in the late west in cool violet
I need the boil of rapid water
Iced by the Rockies
Roiled by deep basalt
Coiled in the coulees
I need the day sun, high in the hot sky
Bleaching old driftwood
To powdery sandsticks
Turning green bunchgrass
To pale tufts on sidehills
I wish for a white moon
On a silver gray sage night
Touching the water with mystical silence
Shared with the mule deer
In the canyon behind me
I need to go home
To the home of my child mind.
JoAnn Yeager Adkins - February 15, 1982
Obituary published in the Yakima Herald Republic - June 23, 2014
Plot: Blk. 2, Sec. 6
Created by: klassikat
Record added: Jun 23, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 131758755