Joe. W. Chatburn, 91, cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend passed away peacefully at home in Cheney on Feb. 15.
Joe was born in Albion, Idaho, on Sept. 12, 1915, one of seven children, to John and Zella Chatburn.
He married his sister's best friend, Yvonne Ann Hepworth, June 5, 1939, and would have celebrated their 68th anniversary this June.
Joe and Yvonne, joined by their four children, lived in Boise, Idaho, from 1939 until 1957.
Joe built two of their homes in south Boise, a block from brothers Acel and Dean Chatburn. Joe was a teacher at Lincoln Opportunity School and North Junior High.
In addition to teaching, he worked in the Gowen Field Air Traffic Control Tower from 1944-1946.
As a member of the First Congregational Church he enjoyed singing in the choir.
After receiving his master's degree at the University of Utah in 1953 he returned to Boise as principal of Garfield Elementary, East Junior High, and South Junior High Schools.
Moving to Pullman, Wash., Joe received his doctorate from Washington State University in 1958.
He accepted a position as professor of education with Eastern Washington University teaching math and education courses and was director of the Instructional Materials Center.
In 1965 he became chairman of the education department. Later he worked with special programs, summer quarter, veterans programs, Upward Bound, Air Force Communications Program and became dean of Continuing Education from 1971 to 1978.
Upon his retirement in 1978, he had been involved in public education for 43 years.
All four of his children obtained degrees from Eastern Washington University, living in the third beautiful home Joe built, (his pride and joy) this time “up on the hill” in Cheney.
Joe and Yvonne lived life to the fullest.
They traveled the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Alaska, and cruised through the Panama Canal. Joe was on the National Ski Patrol for 40 years.
He also loved to water ski, garden, build and remodel houses, and he played the piano by ear for many sing-a-longs.
As a member of the Cheney United Church of Christ he sang in the choir and used his carpentry skills to direct construction of the new building at 423 N. Sixth St.
His dedication to community service was seen by his involvement in Boy Scouts, Moose Lodge, Cheney Federal Credit Union,
Masonic Lodge (past master and organist), Cheney Planning Commission, Cheney City Council, Washington Area Agency on Aging, the Senior Center and the Senior Nutrition Program.
His greatest love was his family.
Joe's life set a standard for them teaching love and loyalty, honesty, the rewards of hard work, “seeing what needs to be done,” and the pleasure in having fun.
Camping and boating on Lake Slocan in Canada was a favorite family event each summer. He was dearly loved and admired for his generosity, creativity, and never-ending support. Joe will be missed every day.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant daughter, JoAnn; brothers, Vard and Ben Chatburn of Albion Idaho,
Arthur Chatburn of Filer, Idaho, and Acel Chatburn of Boise,
Idaho. Joe is survived by his wife, Yvonne Chatburn of Cheney; sister, Frances Field of Grandview, Idaho; brother,
Dean Chatburn of Boise, Idaho; son, Ron Chatburn (Lin McGinn) of Spokane; daughters, Peggy O'Connor
and Patricia Conant (Richard) of Federal Way, Wash.; and Alonna Chatburn (Gordon Sherling) of Marysville, Wash.;
and grandchildren, Linda, Sadie, Christopher, Gabriel, Portia, Jonathan, Darlea, and Charlie, step-grandchildren, Cindy and Jodi, step-great grandchildren; Shelby, Cole, Bailey,
Funeral and burial was held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at Cloverdale Funeral Home in Boise, Idaho.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the United Church of Christ in Cheney. Family and friends are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: EWU Foundation, Chatburn Graduate Fellowship, 127 Hargraves Hall, Cheney, WA 99004.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Spokane for their gentle guidance and care.
Joe, Dad, Grandpa…we love you forever.
Arrangements entrusted to Hazen & Jaeger Funeral Home, 1306 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA.