JoAnn Cravens

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

JoAnn Cravens, 86, of Cape Girardeau passed peacefully to a better place Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.

She was born March 12, 1925, to John Willard and Willa Lois Lessley Proffer, in her grandparents' home in Gravel Hill, Mo.

Her early formative years and experiences were shaped by running that small Southeast Missouri community's fields and woods and being an ever-mischievous presence in her grandfather's country store.

Schooled in Cape Girardeau during the Great Depression, she acquired a modest thriftiness that served her well her entire life. She played women's softball with the River City Moons, tennis in Hawaii, snow skied the Sierras, and swam competitively long before women in sports became the norm.

Her marriage to Joseph Monroe Cravens Jr. of Sikeston, Mo., during World War II and his resulting Air Force pilot career brought her a life of travel and awareness of the world.

JoAnn was well-read, an empathic moderate on social issues, nonjudgmental and politically astute on local and national issues. She resided in Sikeston after the loss of Joseph in 1976, volunteering two decades at Missouri Delta Hospital and practicing her faith at First United Methodist Church. The last several years she was a resident and family member of the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

Her children offer special thanks for the compassionate, attentive care provided her by the Assisted Living West staff at the Lutheran Home.

JoAnn is survived by a brother and his wife, Bob and Leona Proffer of Cape Girardeau; a son and his wife, Michael and Linda Cravens of Sikeston; a daughter and her husband, Annette and Jeff Marler of Eolia, Mo.; three grandchildren and spouses, Chris and Darcie Cravens of Girdwood, Alaska, Kelly (Cravens) and Norm McDonald of Palmer, Alaska, and Tim Hackmeyer of Denver, Colo.; and a great-granddaughter, Alexa McDonald.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today at Ponder Funeral Home in Sikeston, with Geoff Posegate officiating. Burial will be in Sikeston City Cemetery, next to her Joseph Monroe.

Authored by Mike Cravens, Jan. 16, 2012.

Online condolences may be sent to www.ponderfuneralhome.com.