A. Yvonne Stackhouse (1936-2011): Striving for Better

My mother passed away today–quietly, I’m glad to report–in suburban Chicago. We knew for some time that she was dying and we are glad to commend her to the God she had served for so long. The following is her obituary:

Audrey Yvonne (Annan) Stackhouse, B.A., M.A., D.Litt. (Hon.), educator, civic leader, churchwoman, and beloved sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, died on January 7, 2011. She was 74.

Born on June 30, 1936, in the island of Antigua of missionary parents, James and Audrey Annan, Yvonne grew up in Toronto, Ontario. A graduate of Toronto Teachers College, she taught elementary school for four years. She married John Gordon Stackhouse in 1957 and raised four children in Kingston, Ontario, in Plymouth, Devon, U.K., and then in North Bay, Ontario. An active churchwoman at Bethel Gospel Chapel in North Bay, she also earned her B.A. summa cum laude in English from Nipissing University, graduating in 1980.

In 1978, the family moved to Abilene, Texas, where Yvonne expanded her educational, ecclesiastical, and civic activities, including stints on boards of several of the city’s cultural institutions. Earning a master’s degree in English with a minor in psychology summa cum laude at Hardin-Simmons University in 1982, she went on to serve that university in various capacities: writing instructor, international students coordinator, and board member. She crowned her service to HSU as its official historian, authoring the university’s centennial history in 1991. In 2000, Hardin-Simmons awarded Yvonne a Doctor of Letters degree in honor of her many contributions.

In the mid-1990s, Yvonne began a difficult struggle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which she survived only at great physical cost. Her husband retired early from his surgical practice to care for her in 1999, and they moved to Georgetown, Texas. After John’s unexpected death in 2006, Yvonne moved to Windsor Park Manor in suburban Chicago and lived there until her death.

Beyond the educational and civic spheres, Yvonne Stackhouse was a tireless mother, church leader, and friend. She directed summer camps for girls, taught children in Sunday School, played piano for church services and ensembles, composed theme songs for Bible conferences, counseled younger women, took troubled teenagers into her home for months at a time, encouraged her children to pursue a wide range of athletic and musical interests, and with her husband supported missionaries around the globe. In everything she did, she strove for what was better.

Yvonne Stackhouse is survived by the families of her four children: John ( Jr.) and Kari Stackhouse and their three sons, of North Vancouver, British Columbia; Cindra and Daniel Stackhouse Taetzsch and their three daughters, of Wheaton, Illinois; Jayne and David Gaddy and their two daughters, of Leander, Texas; and Brent and Heather Stackhouse and their two children, of Austin, Texas. She is also survived by her sister Valerie and husband Terry Lunau, of Guelph, Ontario; brother Nelson and wife Jan of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; sister Donna-Jean and husband Peter Brown of Toronto; and brother Bruce and wife Veronica of Aurora, Ontario.

The family will be remembering Yvonne privately and requests that donations to her memory be given toward financial aid for students at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, 60187, from which her four children graduated.

0 Responses to “A. Yvonne Stackhouse (1936-2011): Striving for Better”

  1. Paul


    Very sorry for your loss. You honour her well.

    cheers, Paul

  2. Marie Loewen

    As I read this I was flooded with memories of your amazing mother. I was one of many young women she loved into maturity and she and your father had a profound influence on me and my family. She nurtured my faith, challenged my mind and gave me confidence that I could become the person God called me to be. I became a better wife and mother because of her. For me, she was the incarnation of hope that I might become that but also that I might become more than that.
    Our lives have followed paths that meant we rarely connected in these last years, yet as I read of her death in the early hours this morning I am deeply saddened. Rob and I hold all of you in our prayers as you say goodbye to your remarkable Mother!!

  3. Doug Koop

    This tribute brings your mother to life for those of us who never knew her. Grieve her well, my friend. Grieve well.

  4. Jeff Loach

    Doug Koop has put into words what I was thinking, John. You can celebrate your Mom’s ‘promotion’ day as you celebrate your birthday. God’s peace be yours.

  5. Pat Pope

    Blessings to you and your family during this time of loss. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman who loved a rich life. May you experience God’s peace and comfort.

  6. Ryan

    I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. Your words here speak of a life truly well lived.

  7. Steve Wilkinson

    John, I’m very sorry to hear of the loss for you and your family. My grandfather was quite sick for some time before passing, so I understand what you mean. It is good to know they are with the Lord! Our prayers are with you during this time.

  8. D.J. Brown

    As one of Yvonne’s siblings, John’s aunt, I want to thank all of you who are writing comments on my sister’s passing.
    Each comment is a gift to all of us who will miss her.

    Never think that any note you bother to write, to those who suffer in any way, will be worthless.

  9. Patricia Paddey

    Your mother was obviously a remarkable woman. Thank you for sharing a bit of her inspiring story with us. May your memories of her bring you much comfort in the months and years ahead.

  10. Wayne Holst


    I am sorry to hear of the death of your mother.
    From reading her obituary I can see better why
    you are the man that you are.

    Like me, you are the better person because of
    your mother.

    Wayne Holst, Calgary

  11. Carlene Spicer

    Chip, Yvonne and I shared many interests while she was in Abilene–First Baptist Church, HSU, and Twentieth Century Study Club. My fondest memory is of a trip we took to Fort Worth shopping and on to Denton to see Jayne in a play at TWU. I still smile when I think about the fun we had! She was a remarkable lady and a good friend. May you have peace and comfort in your loss.

  12. carol dellandrea

    “Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Yvonne knew this in spades! She was my friend for many years and she consistently shared her vision, her Christian world view, with me and everyone who knew her. What an inspiration she was! She had a clear understanding of how the power of God works in an individual’s life – and she encouraged all to avail themselves of it. She helped everyone to gain insight into themselves, by discovering their own talents and abilities and to use these in the service of others. What an amazing mentor she was! It was a privilege to know her and her wonderful family. My condolences to each loved one – John, Cindra, Jayne, Brent and their families. What an incredibly rich legacy you’ve been blessed with – from generation to generation! May you always remember her love and devotion and thankfulness for each one of you.
    My thoughts are with you all, including Nelson, Val, Donna-Jean, Bruce and their spouses.
    Peace be with you.

  13. Verity3

    Dr. Stackhouse,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. My prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Randy Bushey

    We at Bethel in North Bay grieve with you and your family, and share your loss. My memories of your Mom were mostly from our teen years, as your family moved from North Bay not long after we reached adulthood. I remember her directing camps at ABK, and playing a central role in children’s programs (incl. AWANA).

    I also remember her as one who carried on the strong legacy of musicians at Bethel. When you and I (with others) were atempting to launch an early-teen vocal group, your Mother’s advice was, “Boys, you can have people say “aren’t they cute” or you can have people recognize that you really can sing — now which will it be?” That straightforward, unvarnished, but accurate assessment was part of what we needed, and part of your Mom’s identity in my remembrance. Peace, RB

  15. John Gibson

    I remember your mother well from high school days at Scarborough Collegiate. We graduated together circa 1954. Yvonne also accompanied our male quartet. After she & Jack left Toronto, my wife Janet & I kept up with news through her mother Audrey – another very special lady – and from crossing paths with Yvonne’s siblings from time to time. We grieve with you in your loss of this wonderful woman.

  16. Michael W. Kruse

    John, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mother in October. Grace and peace to you and your family as you both celebrate her life and grieve her absence.

  17. Dale Mixon

    Dear Chip and Kari,
    I was so sorry to hear of Yvonne’s death though I feared something was wrong when my Christmas card to her was returned. We had corresponded for many years. We shared many wonderful things in Abilene and in the Austin area and I was so grateful for Yvonne’s friendship. She blessed my life in many ways. She was a gracious and giving lady who loved her family immensely and took so much pride in the accomplishments of all of you. You were fortunate to have had her for a Mother. Please know that my thoughts and prayers will be with all of your family. I hope that you will be comforted by the memories you share of Yvonne. I know that I will be.
    Much love,
    Dale Mixon
    9542 Lori Lane
    Rogers, AR 72758

  18. Kerrie-Lee (White) Britnell

    Hello Chip,

    I was only 14 when your family moved from North Bay, but I have many fond memories of being at your house attending young peoples gatherings. There was always lots of food and fun to be had. I will always remember your mom’s straight forward approach to things. I can still see her smile. I will always remember your dad, as he was so gentle with me in removing stitches from surgery. I asked him ‘if this will hurt?’ and as he was talking to me, the stitches disappeared!

    What an awesome God we serve, knowing that He has a plan for everyone of us and His time is always best! Your mom and dad are in the best place they could be-Heaven. No more pain or sickness. Praise God for the promise that is ours.
    I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  19. yvonne archer

    I was sorry to read of the passing of your mom. It was a blessing to be able to read the tribute to her- I have been inspired through this shared story of such a wonderful woman who lived her life well, honourably, and with admirable convictions. As previously expressed by another, this glimpse into your family indeed attests to the person you are also and the life’s path you have chosen. May your memories become both a healing and a sense of peace for you.

  20. valerie annan lunau

    Yvonne was my much-loved sister. We shared happy and sad times and I miss her. Her contributions to my life, and those of my family were many and I am grateful. I thank God for all she was and did for us and others. My heart remembers and my tears fall. Thank you all for your tributes. Every single one helps.

  21. Trudy Cosme

    Wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and your family right now. So truly sorry for your loss.

  22. Bruce Beckler

    I have many fond memories of your family and growing up together in North Bay. I certainly enjoyed the times I spent with your family in and out of Bethel Gospel and the beautiful music we made together. Your mother was a very welcoming neighbour and a beautiful woman, as I still have both of my parents I cannot even begin to fathom the loss. My heart goes out to you all.

  23. doreen and norm Bier

    I last saw your mum at your granma’s funeral,my in-laws(Les and Persis Bier) were great friends of Audreys. My sons used to collect Audrey to take her to Bendale Bible Chapel on Sunday mornings.How greatful to God Audrey was for her children and no wonder as I read all she accomplished for her family and for God. Bless you all. Norman and Doreen Bier. Guelph.

  24. Gabrielle Blair

    Although I never knew Yvonne, Valerie Lunau has been a dear friend for many years and I have often heard her speak fondly of Yvonne.
    From John’s obituary I can now understand what a remarkable woman Yvonne was and see why she touched so many lives.
    My feelings go out to all of her large family and friends as you grieve her loss.
    Gabrielle Blair

  25. Wendy Gagne

    John, Cindy, Jayne and Brent~~
    I have just now found the announcement of your mother’s passing. I have one cry of my heart, “Yvonne Yvonne~ How greatly you influenced me~!”

    I hold you each in my prayers while you grieve strong of her life and her love.
    Wendy Gagne

  26. John Stackhouse

    Thanks, everyone, for these very kind notes. I returned last night from Chicago after a few good days commemorating my mother with my siblings and other relatives, and I’ll be posting something different soon.

  27. Marion Loney

    HI folks, My heart and prayers are with you all. My daughter Kim found this website and I agree that your mother was a blessing to many, including me. I remember the times (years ago) when we walked together in Peterborough, both of us pushing carriages. As well, we had been together at Joy Camp where your father and my husband enjoyed racing together as they swam in Trout Lake. I know that both Mom & Dad are happy in Heaven in the Presence of Jesus. Marion

  28. Joy Magalit Suh

    Dear John,

    Please accept my condolences on the loss of a great and godly woman. What a lovely and touching tribute. May you receive the comfort of our Lord in all its fullness.

    Best regards,


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