P. Joan Reathaford Stringer
P. Joan Reathaford Stringer, 73 was born in Versailles, Brown County, Illinois on July 11, 1937 to James “Jim” and Marjorie J. Herren Reatharford. She was the second of 3 children, James William [died in infancy] and Gary Lee. She was loved and adored by her parents, grandparents William “Jennings” & Minnie P. Hume Reathaford and Milton & Elizabeth “Lizzy” Whitted Herren along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. As a child she was teasingly referred to as “Judy Jo Blue Head” because of her bright red hair. She attended school in Mount Sterling, Versailles, Chambersburg and Abingdon, Illinois where she is remembered as a brilliant and popular student. Her father worked as an itinerant farmer when she was a young girl share cropping on local farms and sometimes moving seasonally. After WWII her parents both worked at the local industrial manufacturing and pottery in Abingdon, Ill. She recalled many memories during the war, the hardships the family endured, the loss of family members and the excitement and pride of our Nation at its conclusion, safe return of her father, loved ones, friends and family. As a youngster she enjoyed Shirley Temple movies and later worked at the local movie theater. In 1962 she married Carl Stringer in Ft Wayne Missouri where Carl, a native of Angelina County, Texas was stationed with the United States Army. Shortly after Carl was assigned to Korea, she followed, volunteering as a Red Cross Aid. Later the family lived in Argentina where Cristy and Randy attended school. The family then settled in Victoria and later Houston, Texas. In 1970 she and Carl bought a grand and beautiful home in Sugar Creek, Sugar Land, Texas of which she was enormously proud to raise her family. She worked as an entrepreneur owning Western Wear Stores, “Boots & Brims” in the Houston area, as well as other endeavors over her lifetime. She became a proud Texan blending with ease into the culture and lifestyle of the south. During the 70’s Carl took a position in Iran, where she, Stacy and Tammy settle for a short while until a car accident sent Carl to England for medical care. In the 80’s and 90’s work again relocated her west and for some years living and working in, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. After retirement, she enjoyed traveling the country in their RV, living in South Texas and Kentucky, visiting family and friends along their way. She enjoyed traveling and living abroad where her husband’s work called always excited and eager at the opportunity of a new adventure in her life. She had four children Randall “Randy” aka “Leo”, Crystal Joan “Cristy”, Stacy and Tammy. She later settled in Cadiz, Ky. where she passed away on November 9, 2010 at home, of natural causes. She was surrounded by her Grandchildren and great grandchildren whom she loved and adored. She will be remembered as a regal matriarch, loving, considerate and generous. She will be missed by all who love her. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Gary and son-in-law Stephen R. Webb. She is survived by an Aunt Alice Reathaford Menely, her loving and loyal husband Carl Stringer, a son, Randy Stringer of Beaumont, Texas, three daughters Cristy and Bobby Caruthers of Richmond, Texas, Stacy Webb of Crofton, KY, Tammy and George Steel of Clarksville, Tennessee, grandchildren, Natalie, Austin and Jordan Stringer, Davis, Cole and Blake Caruthers, Tad and Nadia Abukuppeh, Tyler and Amber Lankford, and great-grandchildren Lina Joan Abukuppeh and Lonna Rae Moore.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet white doves in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.