JoAnn Stear

Obituary of JoAnn Weston Stear

JoAnn Weston Stear died on November 9, 2023 at the age of 94. She passed peacefully in her sleep with her daughter Valorie by her side. The previous afternoon she spoke to many of her loved ones by phone to say she was ready to go.

JoAnn was born on March 26,1929 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Bertha Leona (Blakeley) Weston and James Nelson Weston. The family moved to Inglewood, California in 1941 and then to San Bernardino in 1943. JoAnn had two younger sisters, Norma Jean Jackson and Donna June Mifflin, both deceased.

JoAnn married her first husband Richard Eugene Rogers (deceased in February 2023) in 1948 and they had five children. They divorced in 1962. A second marriage to Joseph C. Pinero also ended in divorce in 1972. Her marriage to her third husband, Edwin B. Stear in 1982 resulted in a long happy union until his death in 2017, shortly after moving to Vista Del Monte. JoAnn’s five children are James Nelson Rogers who preceded her in death in 2008 (Kim Wilgus Rogers), Gary Preston Rogers (Arlene Simmons Rogers), Valorie Jean Cole (Wayne Cole), Steven Craig Rogers (Suzanne Paquette Rogers), and Virginia Lee Aguilar (Arthur Aguilar). Her step children are Brian Douglas Stear (Louise Stear) and Linnea Susan Hernandez. These children bore 15 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, who affectionately called her Granny Great.

JoAnn worked odd jobs outside the home beginning at 14 years old and was interested in many things all her life. At age 28 at Edwards Air Force Base she passed the Federal College Equivalency Exam which led her to good positions there such as Base Suggestion and Awards Secretary and as a Technical Librarian. This was during the time that the X-15 plane was being developed and tested, rocket engines were being built, and speed records were being broken on the ground (sleds) and in the air. Later she worked at Kaiser Aluminum in Oakland, Ca where the parts for Boeing’s B-52 Bomber prototype were being extruded from aluminum. There she became the editor of the employee newsletter.

In the early 1960’s the family moved to Santa Barbara, CA and JoAnn found work at the University of California, first at the Dept. of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, as the secretary and office manager to Chairman Dr. John E. Myers, and later in the Education Abroad Program as office manager and accountant. From 1975 to 1979 she was the administrative assistant to the Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In 1982 she became the wife of that Chairman, Dr. Edwin B. Stear and they spent ensuing years in Washington DC, Belleview, WA and Fairfax, VA.

During these years JoAnn and Edwin owned and operated Eaton Hill Winery in Granger WA and JoAnn ran the day-to-day operations for 30 years while Edwin, the chief winemaker, commuted from back east. Her son Gary was the manager and winemaker on site, as was her son Steve after Gary moved away. Her daughter Virginia was the winery business manager and accountant. In 2016, Edwin’s health declined and they made the move in spring of 2017 to Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara, CA to be near her daughter Valorie, who devoted her time to their care. Sadly, Edwin passed that fall, and JoAnn stayed at Vista and enjoyed her life there very much. JoAnn wrote short stories and poetry throughout her life and enjoyed journaling, making lists, and reflecting on her daily life. She was a storyteller, loved classical music, played piano up until her 94th birthday, and was a devoted lover of books. JoAnn’s sense of humor, native optimism, leadership abilities, strength in adversity, and her strong belief in the capabilities of others will be
remembered by all who knew her.

In accordance with her wishes, JoAnn asked that no memorial service be held. Her wish was that the family would have a celebration of life at a later date.

Sonnet To My Children

To the ones unborn and to you who live

I send my love. To all of you my love.

That I am so blessed, I give humble thanks.

The days and years go by, and all is good.

Not perfect, not in this world, but so good.
Our faith that there is a reason for life

And the blessing of living it this day

Carries us all along similar paths.

I wave at you, you wave at me and smile.

How lovely, Who could ask for any more.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for JoAnn
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at McDermott-Crockett & Associates Mortuary
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