Age hasn't slowed octogenerian Joanne Fitzgerald, although the pace of her transportation as grand marshal of the Muddy Frogwater Festival will travel at a walk.
The Milton-Freewater resident will lead the Muddy Frogwater Country Classic Festival Parade on Aug. 20 via a horse-drawn carriage owned by Bob Hodnefield.
Joanne and husband Don hailed from Wallowa, where she owned a gift and flower shop. They relocated to Milton-Freewater in 1967 for Don's carpentry. He was hired to work on new dorms and several other buildings on the Whitman College campus.
Joanne was employed in a Milton-Freewater flower shop. She has been active in a number of local groups, including Fruitvale Extension Club and Daughters of the Nile and as president many times of the M-F Garden Club.
She also put her town on the map with fellow Eastern Star members. Active in the group for 52 years, she attended the Grand Chapter convention in Michigan in October 2010 as grand representative for Oregon. She carried the state banner in the flag ceremony and toted several hundred Muddy Frogwater Festival refrigerator magnets to hand out to other members. She said the magnets went to homes in almost every state.
She and Don's children Pat Fitzgerald, Reno, Nev., and Pam Fitzgerald and Debbie Jordan, both of Milton-Freewater, all graduated from McLoughlin High School and Oregon State University. Grandson Jamahl Fitzgerald lives in Portland.
The festival will be Aug. 19-21, featuring an Ambassador breakfast at the park, a pretty baby contest, softball tourney, Muddy Frogwater Run 1-mile and 5-K run/walk, a Chamber barbecue Aug. 19, Talent of the Valley Competition, food and craft vendors, fine art show, hip-hop mania and watermelon eating competitions, kiddie land, an Elks Breakfast, bingo and Rotary chicken barbecue Aug. 20.
See www.muddyfrogwaterfestival.com/ for more details.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or afternoons at 526-8313.