JoAnn Priestley passed away at home in Gloucester, on May 15, 2020.
She was born under a Harvest Moon in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sept. 26, 1941. She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Lou and father James Robert Williamson.
JoAnn is survived by her high school sweetheart, husband and soul mate of 61 years, Ralph Priestley; her beloved children, Tamara Priestley (Gloucester), Lori Priestley (Oak Ridge, Tennessee), Terry Priestley (Los Alamos, New Mexico), and Kory Priestley (Gloucester Point); her much loved six grandchildren, (Blaine, Holly, Gabriel, Peyton, Morgan and Sophie), and three great-grandchildren, (Maddox, Zaynah and Alexia). She also has two surviving brothers, Ken Williamson (Carrolton, Michigan) and James Williamson (Irvine, California).
JoAnn cherished her family, travel (visiting all 50 states and 24 countries), sewing and reading poetry (particularly Mary Oliver). JoAnn spent her 78 years on Earth as a role model of loyalty to family and friends, generosity to those who had less than she, selflessness, patience and acceptance of everyone.
JoAnn was a lover of animals, nature and education. She and Ralph adopted a number of shelter animals in their time together and enjoyed camping and hiking across country in our National Parks. Education was important to her because she believed it to be ‘the great equalizer.’
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Joseph’s Indian School, 1301 N Main St, Chamberlain, S.D. 57325. Due to the current pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Interment will be at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.