JOPLIN, MO —
Anna Jean Ditch, 87, of Joplin, died Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, after a short illness.
Jean was born Aug. 12, 1925, at Springdale, Ark., and lived in Joplin most of her life.
She grew up during the Great Depression. The family lived in several towns in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas, during the hard times of the Depression era as her parents pursued various restaurant operations. When she was old enough, Jean helped her folks in several of their family-owned restaurants. She went to high school at Yukon, Okla.
She married Cecil Duane Ditch on March 11, 1947, at Guthrie, Okla. They marked 65 years together this year. He died April 9, 2012.
Jean, a homemaker, enjoyed sewing and working in her yard in her younger days. She was a gifted cook; her from-the-bottom pies were cause for celebration. Her birthdays were among her favorite observances, with the family often enjoying her homemade ice cream, croquet and her million-dollar smile.
She was a longtime member of Joplin's Villa Heights Christian Church. She was especially fond of her Sunday school class, The Friendly Class.
Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Charlotte and Bob McFarlin, rural Joplin, and Paula and Michael Stair, of Joplin; a sister-in-law, Norma Carlson, Albany, Ga.; two grandsons, Tyler Stair and Zane Stair, both of Joplin; two step great-grandchildren, Bobby McFarlin and Jessie McFarlin; a step great-greatgrandson, William McFarlin; two nieces; and a nephew. Others who preceded her in death include her parents, Mildred and Harry Middlesworth; a sister, Ruth Eggensperger; a brother, Jarvis Paul Middlesworth; a step grandson, Douglas McFarlin; and two nephews, Jerry Eggensperger and Joe Eggensperger.
A private memorial service will be conducted later at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.
Memorial contributions may be made to Villa Heights Christian Church.
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