Jan 25, 1930 ~ Feb 13, 2020

Joan Howerton Yeagley was born in Denver, CO on January 25, 1930 to Jeanette Boule’ and Harold E. (Sonny) Howerton. She slipped away peacefully on February 13, 2020 in Lee’s Summit, MO at the age of 90.

Joan graduated from the Sunset Hill School, Kansas City, MO in 1948 and attended the University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, NM. She later finished her degree work through a non-traditional studies program at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS with a Bachelor of Science in Education: Secondary English.

Joan met her college sweetheart, Harold A. (Hac) Yeagley, a World War II veteran, at UNM in 1948. They married in 1951. Hac passed in 2006. She moved to Mexico where she lived for five years before returning to the States. They are survived by four children: Jan Martin and husband Dennis, Santee, CA; Donn Yeagley and wife Judith, Columbia, MO; Jeff Yeagley and wife Dana, Lee’s Summit, MO, Jeanne Petrella and husband Michael, Groton, NY. 15 grandchildren: Lisa, Evan, Colleen, Matthew, Joshua, Sarah, Kyle, Rebecca, Carrie, Amanda, Kenzie, Aubrey, Kaycee, Keegan, Andrew, Jessica, and Gabriel; 8 great-grandchildren: Faith, Emma, Duncan, Violet, Brenston, Landon, Matthew, Emmelia, Benny, and Beau; a cousin, Julia Duff, Litchfield Park, AZ, a daughter-in-law, Terri Bergman, Columbia, MO, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

As Coordinator of The Great Books Program in the metro Kansas City area for the Kansas City Public Library and the Great Books Foundation, Chicago, she participated as a leader in both adult discussion groups and a large inner-city children’s program. As a Consultant for Program and Activities for the 12 county Northeast Kansas Library System, she organized libraries on the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Iowa, Sac and Fox Reservations; established Job Information Services; Library Services for the Aged; and The Invitation to the Arts Series which brought to rural libraries and community schools aspects of the Arts including painting, sculpture, music, drama, ecology, photography, dance, and poetry.

Joan was twice winner of the Kansas City Star Award for Poetry; twice winner of the Sager Creek Art Center’s Award, Siloam Springs, AR; and The Missouri Writer’s Guild’s: Missouri Writer’s Week Award for Poetry. She taught English and Creative Writing at Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, and Creative Writing and Teaching Creative Writing at Crowder College, Neosho, MO. She was active many years in the Writers-in-the-Schools programs for the Missouri and Kansas Arts Councils. Her book, The Studs of McDonald County, was published by Bookmark Press, UMKC. Her poems appeared in: The Saturday Review and The Kansas City Star; and in the anthologies: Four BkMk Poets; The Missouri Poets; In the Middle: Midwestern Women Poets, in which she represented the state of Missouri; Midwest Poetry Festival Anthology, Michigan State University; Voices from the Interior-Poems of Love, Past and Present; and Missouri Women Writers. Joan also wrote Book Reviews for Bookmark Press and The Kansas City Star and published numerous articles and short stories. She was a faculty member of: The Mark Twain Creative Writing Workshop, UMKC; The Longboat Key Writer’s Conference in Florida; and The Missouri Valley Writer’s Conference. She read for The Society for the Study of Midwest literature, East Lansing, Michigan and gave numerous readings in the United States and Mexico. She is a lifetime Member Emeritus of the Missouri Writer’s Guild.

She was a Girl Scout Leader; President of the Church Women’s Fellowship; organized a new chapter of Church Women United for South Jackson County; was a member of the Jackson County Child Welfare Advisory Committee; member of the Poetry Committee for the Jewish Community Center’s “American Poets Series”; and taught Creative Writing for the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri Camps and Conference program. She also served the diocese as Chair of the Hispanic Task Force, working to serve the growing number of Latinos coming to work in Southwest MO. Two new congregations of Spanish speaking people were established at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, Noel, and at Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage. In order to communicate with our new neighbors, Joan studied Spanish at Crowder College; Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica; El Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca, Mexico; and Rivier College, New Hampshire. The program in Noel offered: Summer School for children; Classes in both “English” and “Spanish as Second Language” for adults; and free Immigration Services in which two Spanish speaking lawyers volunteered a day to help Latinos fill out their immigration papers. More than 780 people moved through this program, many gaining United States Citizenship.

Joan was formerly a member of St. Nicholas, Noel, MO and San Pablo, Iglesia Anglicana, de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She was a member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Lee’s Summit, MO. She served her church as Sunday School Teacher and wrote plays and pageants for Church School. She was an Acolyte, Licensed Lay Reader, Licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister, and was awarded the Bishop’s Shield for her work in Hispanic Ministry.

Joan lived a full life, accomplished much, and loved and was loved by many family members and friends who will miss her dearly.

Celebration of life will be Saturday, February 22nd at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Lee’s Summit, MO at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, 1815 NE Independence Ave, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064 (saintannesls.org).

Please share your memories of Joan on this website (www.kccremation.com).