JOPLIN, Mo. —
Ionia Lorine Safley, age 83, of Joplin, passed away on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, following a courageous battle of an illness, surrounded by the support and loving care of her family.
Ionia was born on Feb. 4, 1931, in Monette, Ark., to the late James Earl and Mary Isbell (Needham) Leslie. She had been a resident of Joplin since 1968. She was a homemaker who devoted her life to raising her seven children. She enjoyed playing bingo, crocheting and was an accomplished seamstress. This kindhearted woman, that we proudly called our Mother, "Gram", Aunt and Friend, will be forever missed and always remembered for her beautiful smile, sincere understanding, gentle spirit and undeniable appreciation of her family and friends. We will continue to live by her examples. We hold her close in our hearts today and always.
She is survived by four daughters, Sandra Pennington, Joplin, Kathy Moyer and husband, Jeffery, Joplin, Kim Gilstrap, Joplin, and Leslie Busick and husband, John Sandoval, Colorado Springs, Colo.; three sons, Fred Handley, Fresno, Calif., Tony Handley, Fresno, and Mark Fraser and wife, Debra, Springfield, Mo.; 12 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by five brothers; two sisters; and one grandson.
A memorial visitation will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Mason-Woodard Mortuary.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard & Crematory.
Online condolences may be made at www.masonwoodard.com