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Joanne Atchison

October 8, 1932 - October 18, 2018

Born October 8, 1932 in Pekin, Illinois to Robert and Alice VanOsdol She lived in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska before moving to Oregon. She is survived by her sisters, Viola Parrish and Kathleen Soares, her children; Gail Atchison (and her husband Fernando), Wendy Elstun (and her husband Mitchell), David Atchison (his wife Corrine), Rebecca Barth (and her husband Thomas), Kristopher Atchison (and his wife Linda), and Daniel Atchison (and his wife Irina), 12 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

Joanne worked as a service representative and manager for Pacific Northwest Bell, USWest, and AT&T. She was recognized for her outstanding customer service as a member of the USWest President’s Club for several years, before retiring in 1992.
She loved gardening, travel, the Oregon coast, and was a voracious reader.

Joanne was an active volunteer for many years before and after her retirement with NAMI and Project Able in the Salem area. Joanne lobbied the Oregon Legislature for parity in insurance coverage for mental illness, and gave selflessly to provide support and assistance for many people in need. Project Able honored her many years of service by naming a room at the Able House for her in 2018.

She was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother, always remembering birthdays and special events of her loved ones. Her family will miss her greatly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Project Able (

At her request, there will be no memorial service. Her family will greet friends from 10:00 am to noon at Golden’s Funeral Service in Salem on November 9, 2018.


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