JoAnn Helen Story

June 15, 1940 – Jan. 7, 2022


January 13, 2022

JoAnn Helen Story obituary

On January 7, 2022, JoAnn Helen Ottmar Story, of Pullman, Wash., passed away with her family by her side. She was 81 years old. JoAnn was born June 15, 1940, to Jacob and Helen (Gerlack) Ottmar in Spokane, Wash.

She attended grade school in Edwall, Wash., and later moved with her family to Spokane, Wash., where she graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1958. In 1960, JoAnn attended Washington State University business college, Go Cougs!

During the summer of 1960, JoAnn met the love of her life, Ray Story, at her family's farm in Colfax, Wash. Ray, a volunteer fireman at the time, arrived to assist with a crop fire. He then noticed JoAnn nearby, who was working/tanning in the vegetable garden - a true multitasker. They married in Spokane on December 2, 1961, and in 2021 they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

JoAnn worked at a Lincoln Savings Bank in Colfax, Wash., during the early years of their marriage. Following JoAnn & Ray's purchase of their first farm in the Fairfield, Wash. and Tensed, Idaho, area she became a full-time business partner in Ray Story Farms Inc.

Baptized and confirmed in the Community Congregational Church of Christ, JoAnn was an active member of the UCC Congregational Church for many years. Her passions included teaching Sunday School and working in the Thrift Shop at the Congregational Church.

Known as a Jill of all trades and entertainer extraordinaire, JoAnn was actively involved in several community clubs/activities through the years. Notably, the Pullman Garden Fair, Cougar Club, Schweitzer Prime Timer Ski Club, and Pullman Ladies Golf Club, Pullman Child Welfare. She participated in the Daughters of the Nile, Eastern Star and Worthy Matron of Job's Daughters. JoAnn was a Campfire Girls leader, PTA member, Room Mother for the Pullman School District, member of the Republican Women's Club. Her infectious personality and friendly disposition led her to become an Advisory Member of Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority at WSU. And to top it all off, she was the Director of a community fashion show. JoAnn left no stone unturned and had lots of fun along the way.

JoAnn enjoyed traveling, spending time with her granddaughters, shopping, gardening, cooking, skiing, boating, reading, dining out, and socializing. She carried herself with grace, sparkle, and sass.

JoAnn is survived by her loving husband, Ray Story; her two daughters, Becky Story-Erickson (Frederick "Peter") & Laurie Story-Gustafson (Carl Bradley Gustafson); and her four granddaughters, Helena Erickson, Katherine Erickson, Taryn Gustafson, & Mallory Gustafson. JoAnn is preceded by her parents and two brothers Curtis & Glen Ottmar. Ray currently resides at the family home they built together in Pullman, Wash.

A family funeral service will be held at 1 PM on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at Corbeill Funeral Home (formerly Kimball Funeral Home). JoAnn will be laid to rest at the IOOF Cemetery in Pullman following the family service. A celebration of life will be scheduled in Pullman, Wash. and Sandpoint, ID this coming spring, TBA. Condolences may be sent to

Donations can be made in lieu of Flowers in JoAnn Story's honor to Pullman Child Welfare, P.O. Box 521, Pullman Wash. 99163.


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