JoAnn Rodgers passed from this life peacefully on November 18, 2022 after many years and many illnesses. She liked to joke that every part of her body had been either repaired or replaced and if she were a car she would have a reconstructed title. She would have been 88 on December 12.
Joann was a woman of many words, right up to the very end – her nurses and doctors all laughingly called her ‘a handful’. She was honest almost to a fault, and proudly opinionated. You never had to guess where you stood with her, as one of her greatest pleasures was to tell you exactly what she thought. She either liked you or she didn’t, and she liked almost everyone.
She had several passions, two of which were quilting and cooking. She had a great talent for quilting and left behind many beautiful treasures that will be cherished by family and friends for years to come. She had to have the smoke detector removed from her kitchen. Her recipe box will be burned.
She was exceptionally bright and exceptionally brave, as evidenced by the years she spent living and working in Costa Rica. An opportunity arose for her to move there to train seamstresses for a new Todd Uniform factory and she didn’t think twice. She packed her bags, grabbed her passport, and was half way to San Jose before we could even say ‘hasta la vista, baby’. With the help of Rosetta Stone she was speaking fluent Spanish by the time her plane landed.
She had not time nor inclination to follow the crowd. She lived by her own rules, with few regrets. She was the real deal – unique and genuine.
She was an adoring mother and grandmother, a devoted daughter, and a loyal friend.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Millard Witherington of Chattanooga, TN and Ruby Reynolds of Bells, TN – her brother, Fred Witherington of Munford, TN – her sister, Delores Higgs of Martin, TN – and her sons, Brett Rodgers and Dale Rodgers, both of Jackson, TN.
She leaves behind a daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Mark Hoppe of Jackson, TN – a son, James Robin Loder of Coralville, IA – a sister, Landa French of Chicago, IL – a brother, David Witherington of Mountain Home, AR – 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Her favorite charity was Publisher’s Clearing House.
Her last request was to donate her body to science – she said they could use it as a kind of ‘it’s not supposed to look like this….’ teaching tool. She asked to be cremated if the science thing doesn’t work out.
Services will be Saturday November 26 at Friendship Funeral Home in Friendship TN, with visitation starting at 1:00pm and service at 3:00pm. There will be no graveside service.