Cover photo for Ethel Joann Austell's Obituary
Ethel Joann Austell Profile Photo
1931 Ethel 2021

Ethel Joann Austell

May 1, 1931 — February 4, 2021

Joann Austell was born May 1, 1931, to Harry and Susie Boyce. Memorial service will be held on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 10:00am at Dighton Marler Funeral Home in Stillwater. Dighton Marler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Joann grew up on the family farm in the Stillwater area. She was her Dad’s best helper and had a list of daily chores. She became proficient at milking, herding cattle, and handling the horses for plowing the fields. In fact, she was sometimes called “Little Harry” by family friends because she was right by his side. Some of her fondest memories were when she went with her Dad to sell the cattle and enjoyed a special treat of a bowl of chili at a small Ice Cream Shoppe. She liked the chili so well that she persuaded the owner to give her the recipe and used that ‘special recipe’ throughout the years.
She enjoyed riding her horse Silver and thought it was a good idea to teach her several tricks. This was great until her Dad was riding Silver when she decided to do a trick. All she heard was a loud “Joann!!” and knew what had happened. She was promptly told to not teach any more tricks to her horse. Joann enjoyed visiting with her grandparents and spent a lot of time learning skills that she would use throughout the years. There were many stories to tell from her childhood, several of which were told tongue in cheek.
She attended school at the Eureka Independent School District and met her future husband there in 1946 when his family moved to the Stillwater area. She married the love of her life Jim Austell on November 7, 1948, and they made their home in Stillwater where they lived for 72 years. Joann became an Avon representative so she could have flexible hours while the kids were growing up. She enjoyed selling Avon and continued to be an “Avon Lady” for 52 years receiving many awards including the Avon Honor Society, President’s Club, and Miss Albee award every year that it was available.
Joann had many interests and was talented in them all. She had a natural musical ability and played the piano, organ, and accordion not only with sheet music but by ear. She grew up playing the piano and organ for church services and was asked to play for many special occasions. In addition, she enjoyed oil and pastel painting, plastic canvas crafts, and various other crafts. Her favorite was crocheting, and she made an incredible number of afghans and doilies for friends and family throughout the years. She developed many of her own patterns and designs and all the afghans were not only made with love but had her signature “Timeless” scent on them, so you immediately knew who made them.
Joann was not one to be idle or just sit. She enjoyed watching her soap operas, rodeos, musicals, and westerns but was always working on a project, usually it involved crocheting. Joann also enjoyed playing cards, puzzles, games of strategy, and working crossword puzzles, word finds, and Sudokus. She was an avid reader and enjoyed poetry and westerns with her favorite author being William Johnstone.
She always had time for the grandchildren and great grandchildren. When she was unable to see them, she enjoyed hearing about what they were doing and seeing pictures and short videos. She would just laugh at some of the stories and often commented that they took after her or Jim. Sometimes you got the “you pay for your raising” thrown in and a good story on what you did when you were their age.
Her warmth, unconditional love, and zest of life will be missed by all who knew her. She leaves a legacy of a life well-lived filled with fun, laughter, lots of love, and a reminder to keep the door open and the coffee pot on.
She was preceded in death by her husband Jim Austell and her parents as well as sisters Helen Hornberger, Jerri Branson, Lorena Smallwood, and Carolyn Gottfried.
She is survived by a daughter Karen and her husband Bob Culton of Stillwater; sons Jim Jr of Stillwater; Mack and his wife Shirley of Glencoe; Lonnie and his wife Cecilia of Stillwater; and Rex and wife Vickie of Yale. Five granddaughters Dana Culton and Joe Swalwell of OK City; Crystal Austell and Ryan Phillips of Stillwater; Angie Austell of Stillwater; Melody and Bruce Cates of Mannford; Courtney and TJ Ellis of Owasso; and one grandson Shane Austell of Cushing. Five great grandchildren Zoe Boyd, Stillwater; Amy Austell, Glencoe; Jeff Cates, Mannford; Dakota James Phillips, Stillwater; and Rylan Ellis, Owasso.
She is survived by a brother Gene Boyce and wife Jeanie, one sister Lavena Young of Stillwater, as well as various other family members and friends.
Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, February 12, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Dighton-Marler Funeral Home Chapel

5106 North Washington Street, Stillwater, OK 74075

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