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OBIT: JoAnn Eastes

It is with great sadness that the family of JoAnn Ferrare Eastes of Spartanburg, SC shares the news of her passing on May 21, 2020 at the age of 92. JoAnn passed away peacefully at Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home. She had a long, fulfilling life and will be deeply missed by her family and those who knew and loved her.

Born in Manhattan, NY on March 1, 1928, JoAnn was the daughter of Vincenzo (James) Ferrare 1888-1942 and Marie Ferrare (nee Giacone) 1901-1970. JoAnn was a resident of Spartanburg for over 55 years.

She attended Long Island University and graduated with honors in 1950 with a BS degree in Organic Chemistry. While at the university she was very active in student government and was elected as the first female Student Body President. In 1953, she attended Vanderbilt University to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry. While there she met and married Frank Elisha Eastes in 1953. They resided in Madison, TN and had six children born from 1954 to 1960.

After living in Delaware for two years, the family moved to South Carolina in 1962 and relocated to Spartanburg in 1964. JoAnn earned her MAT from Converse College and taught chemistry and biology at Spartanburg High School (1 year), Converse College (4 years) Dorman High School (3 years). She was hired and worked for 3 years as the Academic Dean at Sherman College of Chiropractic where she also taught chemistry.

While at Dorman High School JoAnn was appointed as the head of their science department. She mentored many students in sciences after school. One of the students she mentored and worked closely with, David Thompson, won the State, Regional, and National Science Fair in 1971, where he won First Place in Chemistry. As the national winner David and JoAnn, as his mentor and student advisor, were flown to Florida to watch the launch of Apollo 15.

After leaving teaching, JoAnn pursued a career in real estate. She earned a real estate license and a broker’s license and established the Piedmont Institute of Real Estate. JoAnn developed and taught the course curriculum to real estate agents, realtors, and real estate brokers. She was a million dollar producer three times, and earned numerous distinctions and recognitions in the field. JoAnn’s career in real estate spanned over 30 years, until she retired when she turned 70 in 1998.

JoAnn was quite active in the community. She spearheaded and led a movement to make sure the Charles Lea Center was actually built. She taught Sunday school and was a member of First Presbyterian Church for many years. JoAnn was a member of the American Association for University Women (AAUW). She served on many committees and was an officer locally and statewide and an active member for 10 years. One of her proudest accomplishments was creating the AAUW Annual Book Sale (which she ran for three years) to raise money for scholarships for young women going to college.

JoAnn was very involved with her children in their extracurricular activities and their schooling –and spent many hours supporting their activities in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, music, and science fair projects, to name but a few.

JoAnn is survived by her daughter, Barbara Eastes (husband Neil Wheeler and granddaughter, Emily Wheeler); son Bruce Eastes (partner, Lisa Moran); daughter, Debra Eastes; son, Dwight Eastes (grandson, David Eastes, great-granddaughter, Leilani Eastes, and great-grandson, Darius Eastes, and granddaughter, Christina Eastes); son, Kevin Eastes; son, Frank Eastes; and numerous step-grandchildren; in-laws; nieces and nephews. JoAnn is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Frank Elisha Eastes.

Cremation services by Floyd’s Mortuary in Spartanburg and Burial at Brush Creek Cemetery, Tennessee by Bass Funeral Home, Gordonsville. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, a future Celebration of Life will be planned.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of JoAnn Ferrare Eastes to the AAUW scholarship fund, Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home, or your favorite charity.

Bass of Gordonsville

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