Joda Harington, born Joda Louise McGaughey on May 11, 1919 in Mt. Zion, IL, grew up in Decatur, IL, 60 years a Templeton area resident, married to Russell Harington for 31 years, widowed 26 years, went to be with her Lord on Jan. 17, 2012 at age 92.
Family members are brother William R. McGaughey, age 90, and his 4 children; daughter Judy (and John) Van Duzer of Denver, CO and son William (and Janice) Harington of Templeton, CA; Van Duzer grandchildren, David, Corrie, Daniel, Catherine, and Skyler of Colorado; Harington grandchildren, Heather Tucker of Templeton, Duane Tucker of Idaho, Matthew Tucker of Washington, Leah Stanzel of Pécs, Hungary, William Harington and Samantha Harington of Templeton; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Joda graduated from Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois, in 1937 with a B.A. in art, and was a Tri Delta sorority sister. In 1950 she received her Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, while instructing in home economics & interior design through its 4-H extension office. She also taught high school in Champaign. Summers she worked at a Girl Scout camp on Lake Michigan, and later a dude ranch in the Tetons near Jackson Hole, WY. In 1951 she transplanted to California to study weaving, jewelry, ceramics, and silk screening at California College of the Arts in Oakland. She took a teaching position in 1952 with Atascadero High School, four hours south. Later, she also taught at Glen Speck Junior High and Paso Robles High School. Eventually, she brought her American Saddlebred horse, Lucky, to be with her in California. She met her cowboy rancher husband, Russell, at a dance, married him in 1954, and they built the Far West Ranch on a hilltop east of Templeton. There they raised two children, dozens of Morgan horses, cattle, and crops.
Her community involvement included membership in the Templeton Presbyterian Church, Morgan Horse Club, Atascadero Horseman's Club, AAUW, El Pomar Women's Club, and Galloping Gourmet Gals, volunteering as a 4-H leader, VBS teacher, and Girl Scout leader. As a girl, she achieved the Girl Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout.
Obituary credit: Paso Robles Press