JoAnn Autry passed away Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer, a battle she waged for nearly a decade. Autry died at her home surrounded by family. She was 67 years old.Autry was a stalwart advocate for families and protecting children, particularly in the latter stages of her life. Autry was a Certified Social Worker with Cache County and joined the Cache Valley Child and Family Support Center as its first Development Coordinator in January 2006. She also organized the volunteer-based fundraising arm of the center, known as the Circle of Friends. Autry was instrumental in improving awareness of the CFSC as well as organizing and beginning such annual fundraising events as the Blue Ribbon Benefit Dinner and Auction and Summer Slammer softball tournament. Autry left the center after a recurrence of her cancer in December 2006 and wanted to spend more time with family.According to CFSC Executive Director Esterlee Molyneaux, Autry may have left the center, but she didn’t stop helping and her legacy continues. “She quit her job because of her health, but it was her passion to help families,” Molyneaux said. “She is truly an angel.” In an email to board members of the Child and Family Support Center announcing Autry’s passing, Molyneaux illustrated Autry’s passion for helping families. “She came into the CFSC about three weeks ago with an armful of donations that she had collected for us. JoAnn has made a significant impact on the CFSC, and I know without doubt, will continue to watch over us!” Autry’s 15-year-old daughter Trisha went missing in 2000. After a lengthy investigation, Trisha’s remains were found nearly a year later at the Coyote Research Facility in Millville. Cody Lynn Nielsen was eventually found guilty in 2004 and sentenced to life in prison for her murder. JoAnn’s husband, A. Leroy Autry, died of cancer one month before Trisha’s remains were found.
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