USAO News Bureau

PICKERING, Jo Ann (Dyatt)

Friday, July 6, 2012

 

Jo Ann (Dyatt) Pickering was born in Manhattan, Riley County, Kan., on Sept. 19, 1925, the first of two daughters to Louise Olga Dugan and Andrew Earl Dan Dyatt. Jo Ann was called home by our Heavenly Father on July 6, 2012, in Round Rock, Texas.

Jo Ann was a generous soul, loved by many. Jo Ann's father, Dan Dyatt, worked as a civil engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration, which meant many moves during Jo Ann's formative years.

She lived in Topeka, Kan., and Amarillo, Perryton, and Ft. Worth, Texas. Despite all these moves, Jo Ann made friends easily with each new move. Her mother, Louise, always made a home for them, and Jo Ann and her sister, Peggy, had a happy childhood, vacationing in Colorado.

Jo Ann started college at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (The Oklahoma College for Women), located in Chickasha, later transferring to Oklahoma A&M (State) University in Stillwater, majoring in Spanish and French.

Leonard Leroy Pickering sat behind her in class one semester, never saying a word but reading a newspaper every day in class. He and Jo Ann went on a double-date one night and he asked her out the next night, proposing that evening.

Jo Ann waited a week before saying yes. They married Feb. 14, 1947, in Ft. Worth, Texas. She was one semester short of graduating when she married.

They moved to Washington, D.C., where Jo Ann worked full-time putting Leonard through law school.

At 21 years of age and married, life was full of promise. Every night after work, Jo Ann and Leonard met in the Capitol rotunda, where they then took a streetcar home. Home was a boarding house with many young couples.

The toilet was shared down the hall, and Jo Ann cooked on a hotplate in their room. They loved visiting national monuments and going to concerts and dances.

Upon graduation, Jo Ann and Leonard moved to Mangum, Okla., where they welcomed two daughters, Phyllis Ann in 1950, and Pamela Jo in 1952.

One of Jo Ann's least favorite memories was being seven months pregnant at Thanksgiving and Leonard inviting all of his family over for a celebration, which she spent on her feet in a hot kitchen cooking. Tornado sirens would send Jo Ann scrambling for the storm cellar with two babies in her arms.

In 1952, Jo Ann and Leonard moved to Tulsa, Okla., for one year, and then to Ft. Worth, where Leonard took a job.

Her family grew with the addition of Patricia Len in 1954 and Michael Earl in 1956.

In 1957, Jo Ann and Leonard moved their family of four children to Albuquerque, N.M., where Leonard opened his law practice. Her last child, Mark Lee, was born in 1959.

Now they had five children. Jo Ann had wanted a big family and Leonard wanted a small family, and we see who won that argument.

Four of her children graduated from college and moved away to pursue their careers.

Their firstborn daughter, Phyllis Ann, lived at home with her parents. Leonard retired in 1985, and in 1989, Jo Ann and Leonard moved to Carlsbad, N.M., with their daughter, Phyllis.

They moved to Lubbock, Texas, in 1995, again moving Phyllis, where they lived in their own home and attended Raintree Christian Church and Oakwood United Methodist Church. In January 2012, Jo Ann and Leonard moved to Austin, Texas.

Jo Ann and Leonard spent many happy vacations in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, where she loved walking around the village visiting with local citizens.

She caught many Dorado (mahi-mahi) while deep sea fishing, and her favorite story was about the time she caught the Tiburon. The fishing guides kept discouraging her not to bring el Tiburon to the boat. Not understanding this was the word for shark in Spanish, Jo Ann brought the shark in and landed it. On May 18, 2012, Jo Ann and Leonard moved to University Village in Round Rock, Texas.

Arriving at the hospital with pneumonia on July 3, Jo Ann died in peace on July 6 with members of her family at her side. Jo Ann is survived by daughter, Pamela and Michael Slinker of Klamath Falls, Ore.; daughter, Patricia Aldridge of Austin; son, Earl and Sally Pickering of Kingsland, Texas; and son, Mark and Susan Pickering of Albuquerque.

Jo Ann was preceded in death by her daughter, Phyllis Ann, in 2008 in Lubbock, and by her loving husband of 65 years. Leonard died on June 19, 2012.

Jo Ann leaves behind 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sister, Peggy Lou McClung. Services will be 2 p.m. Monday, July 9, 2012, at Oakwood United Methodist Church in Lubbock with Pastor Wendell Horn officiating.

Burial will follow in City of Lubbock Cemetery beside her husband, Leonard, and daughter, Phyllis. Services are all under the direction of Calvillo Funeral Home. Family will receive friends at Calvillo Funeral Home today from 5 to 7 p.m.