Joanne Slate, 83, entered heaven Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, after graciously fighting lung cancer for six years. She was born Sept. 7, 1931, in Pruitt City, Okla. Her parents were Lola (Means) Roberts and E. G. McAfee. She graduated from Fox Consolidated School in 1949 and soon married Bob Slate. Joanne was employed as a legal secretary and later graduated from nursing school at Tishomingo, Okla. She worked as a registered nurse for 23 years and retired from the Oklahoma State Department of Health in 1993. She and Bob moved to Van Buren in 2000.

Joanne was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandma and friend and was a godly example for all who knew her. She faithfully served in her churches playing the organ and singing, teaching Sunday school, quilting and cooking meals.

Preceding her in death were her grandson, Shane Loy; and her sister, Polly Vevurka. Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 65 years, Bob; two daughters, Beverly and husband Dr. Luc Balis of Fort Smith and Lisa Cox of Arlington, Texas; three grandchildren, Tatianna and Jared Balis of Fort Smith and Paige Sirmans of Sherman, Texas; and two great-granddaughters, Chloe and Braylee Loy of Sherman, Texas; one sister, Judy and husband Woody Woodard of Blanchard, Okla., as well as many wonderful friends.

Funeral services honoring the life of Joanne will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Edwards Funeral Chapel Fort Smith. Officiating will be Pastor Bobby Johnson and Pastor John Harris. Interment will follow at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home.

Honoring her as pallbearers will be Tilsey Byram, Charles Campbell, Paul Kendrick, Wesley Shelley, Ford Sosebee and Bill Vaughn.

The family will receive friends 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Edwards Funeral Home in Fort Smith.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to her church, Van Buren First Assembly of God, 1014 Fayetteville Road, Van Buren, AR 72956.

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