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Our mother, JoAnne King Cates, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, May 24 after a long and hard fought battle with dementia. She was born June 7, 1935 to Heber L. and Floy Easter (née Spradling) King in Tulsa, OK. She was a 1953 graduate of Tulsa Webster H.S. and attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. JoAnne met her future husband, Bob L Cates when he held the door open for her at his brother’s pharmacy in Tulsa and they were married on Memorial Day, 1955. They made their home in Norman and both attended the University of Oklahoma before making their home in Bethany, OK. JoAnne finished her education degree at what is now The University of Central Oklahoma. Together, our mom and dad raised 3 children, Kyle Robert Cates, Craig Andrew Cates, and Kathryne King Cates. JoAnne loved to play the piano at night and sing before everybody’s bedtime. She made sure all her children took piano lessons and played a musical instrument. She volunteered at the local democratic headquarters to elect Sen. JFK during his election bid for president and also served as a cub scout den mother. After her youngest child began school, JoAnne obtained her legal assistant certification at OU and was employed by McAfee and Taft and later Crowe and Dunlevy in Oklahoma City. She had a lifelong dream of living in California and in 1989 made her home in Los Angeles and was employed by Konowiesky and Rank. She was a member of Sweet Adalines in L.A. and one highlight of her life was performing with them at Carnegie Hall. After 14 years, JoAnne moved back to Oklahoma and enjoyed a slower life and spending time with her grandchildren and all her numerous friends. JoAnne is preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Bob Cates, both her parents, her sister, Doris Bruton, and nephew Mathew Savage. She is survived by son Kyle Cates and his wife Terri Shires Cates, son Craig Cates, and daughter Kathryne Cates, M.D., grandchildren Cate Kurtis, Logan Michelle Cates, Layne Emerson Cates, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins across the country. Our mom lived and loved life to the fullest. She loved throwing parties and you could hear her laugh from anywhere in the home and quite possibly miles away. She enjoyed reading, the arts, and frequented the Hollywood Bowl, as well as numerous musical theater performances, ballets, and movies. JoAnne always looked forward to visiting Will Rogers Park in the spring when the azaleas and jonquils bloomed. We are going to miss her so much and take comfort knowing that she has joined her sister and parents in Heaven. We would like to express our appreciation to Humanity Hospice for their loving care of our mother for the past 9 months. They brought a smile back to her lovely face and improved her quality of life. Services will held at Putnam City United Methodist Church pending the resumption of services. She will be laid to rest next to her parents at Park Grove Cemetery in Broken Arrow.
Nick & Sherry Bruton says
She was a special lady and will never be forgotten!!
Connie a Ford says
JoAnne was in my wedding and we were sorority sisters at Northeastern State. I was unaware of her passing until just now. She was a gem and I can’t tell you how much fun we had in our time