“All is well,” Joanne often said with a smile, even in difficult times. All IS well now. She is with Jesus. Joanne Ethel Pace passed to her eternal home Sunday, February 13, 2022. She was born in Spokane August 24, 1939, to Clyde and Dorothy Clark, the oldest of four. She grew up living and working on the cucumber farm for her Dad’s business the Wilson Pickle Company, was a straight A student, graduated West Valley High School Spokane, went to banking school and worked for Seattle First. In 1963, she married Anthony J. Pace and moved to Seattle, where Tony worked on the phone system for the 1964 World’s Fair. They lived on Tiger Mountain and welcomed James in 1964 and Sheryl in 1966.
In 1966, they left Seattle for Yakima, which Joanne had described as they drove by on their honeymoon as “The most God forsaken place on Earth that is the LAST place on Earth I would ever want to live!” And, it WAS. Joanne lived 51 years on the 18-acre farm west of Wiley City. Joanne and Tony built their cedar log home, grew alfalfa, raised their family and animals, and had large vegetable and flower gardens. She lived her final 4 ½ years at Fieldstone Orchard West Assisted Living.
Her life was not easy. She WAS a farmer! Even her hobbies were work – you know that if you ever saw her HUGE wagon-wheel herb garden and HUGE flower gardens! Her mother and three siblings died young, she was widowed at 57, and spent her last 12 years enduring physical decline, while remaining strong in mind and spirit. Never a complainer, she was humble, honest, hardworking, genuinely down-to-Earth, loving and a perfectionist. She worked hard on the farm, was a faithful church volunteer, completed Bible Study Fellowship, cherished her coffee group, and expected no glory for all she did out of love and ”because it was the right thing to do.” She also loved cats, and at one time had 28!
Joanne was single for almost 25 years, married to Tony for 33 years, widowed for 25 years, and is now reunited with Tony forever. Joanne is survived by son James Pace, daughter Sheryl (Allen) Opfer, and grandchildren Jessica Pace, Kristen Opfer, John Opfer and Karen Opfer. At Joanne’s emphatic request, out of concern for others, there will be no services. Celebrate Joanne with a cup of coffee, enjoy cookies and chocolate, laugh out loud, plant something, be a friend, thank God, and love deeply.
And now, Joanne wrote these words to be her ENTIRE obituary: What a journey, 82 Years! I am grateful for eternal life through Jesus Christ, God’s great love for us all. I am thankful for a caring loving family, for loving friends, for a loving caring church, for wonderful doctors, for Memorial Hospice, and for the caring employees at Fieldstone Orchard West. I Corinthians 13:13 “And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love, But the greatest of these is love.” Now, as my Dad would say, “See you later alligator!”